dox /däks/ (verb) – search for private or identifying information about (a particular individual) via the Internet, typically with malicious intent.
“hackers and online vigilantes routinely dox both public and private figures”
Let me guess – you suspect your spouse has been cheating on you but all you have is a phone number and some strange text messages? Or maybe you need to do some basic background info on baby-sitter or soccer coach? It doesn’t matter really. In our instant gratification bubbles we just want the hard facts. In this article I’ll lay out the basics for how to dox anyone on the internet just like any private investigator would.
- PeopleFinders.com – These guys are a proven industry leader with lightning-fast searches and instant results. Detailed information on virtually the entire U.S. population includes reverse phone check, criminal records, and background checks.
- InstantCheckmate.com – Another very powerful searchable database for name, location, reverse phone lookups, court records checks, etc. They claim to source from 30 different data points.
- pipl.com – Incredibly useful and mostly free, pipl allows you to search by: email, username, address, and phone number. You’ll get a list of possible cross references to investigate further, but you’ll likely need one of the websites above to much deeper.
- Who.is – Does your target have a website? You should do a whois search on them and see if you can glean any more information. Another good idea would be to do a reverse whois search to see what other domains they have control of. This can often lead to more discovery on your target.
I’d say 50% of your research will likely be done with the most powerful tool available to man, Google search. The secret to unlocking the power of Google are some really basic syntax tricks that a surprising number of people don’t use.
Phrase Match Search
By putting your search query in quote marks you are giving Google a request for Phrase Match. This is going to return every page it has indexed with that phrase appearing on the page.
So for your target you’ll want to search all of the details you have on them in this way including: name, username, email, address, phone number, etc.
Google Reverse Image Search
This is very handy for tracking down all other instances of an image online including perhaps its source. It’s built right into Chrome so simply right click and choose > Search Google For Image.
You’ll then be presented with the results showing all other instances of that image it has indexed.
By browsing through these you can choose to visit the web pages hosting these images and maybe glean some more details.
I’ve honestly barely scratched the surface here but this is plenty to get you rolling. To be honest the art of doxing is a convoluted subject with many dark alleyways covering techniques ranging from maintaining anonymity and social engineering to digital surveillance.
For going deeper down the rabbit hole there is a well known pastebin by [email protected] you should study. I’d honestly consider this the holy bible of doxing, so go over it well. Just remember the number #1 rule of doxing or any other type of mischief: with great power, comes great responsibility. Use 7 proxies and don’t be stupid.