Doxing comes from the file name “DocX”. This is a document file that most computers can read, and is just a generic way of saying electronic document.
A person who takes part in Doxing is actually collecting information (documents if you will) about a person. It is most often used to collect and identify valuable information.
The value of information is relative. For example, if you can gain access to a PayPal password, then that information may be valuable to you. If you make your money selling phone number lists, then gaining access to a person’s phone contacts is valuable to you. If you are a hacker, then information as innocuous as finding out which WordPress version you are using is valuable.
When a person starts Doxing, he or she is looking to gather as much information as possible. After a lot of information has been gathered, the online “investigator” is better able to judge its value.
It is a crime to go around Doxing?
The act itself is not a crime, but it is part of committing a crime. It is a little bit like walking around the streets with a balaclava, gloves and crow bar. One may assume that you are going to take part in theft, and you are certainly “tooled up” for the job. The same is true of doxing, in that the information you are gathering is going to make it easier for you to take part in a crime.
It does not implicitly mean that you are going to commit a crime, but it doesn’t look good. In the same way that you may have just finished work in a cold factory opening storage crate and so may have a good reason for your gloves, balaclava and crow bar, but it does not look good if you are caught in the streets.
The more they know then the easier you are as a target
Do you remember in the Matrix movies where the Merovingian calls himself a trafficker of information (remember his hot wife Monica Bellucci too); well there are information traffickers in real life. Knowing more about something or someone will help you turn a situation to your advantage. Market research companies are often paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to find out things from the competition. There are even books on the market that let you know how to utilize this information.
Knowing certain things makes it easier to steal from you, and if you read many books on persuasion, then it also makes you easier to manipulate. Knowing when your targets grandparents died, may make that person more vulnerable on certain dates of the year (but not emotionally distraught). Claiming to notice that the target looks a little sad on that day will make you appear more perceptive and caring (as opposed to a manipulative spy).
Start Doxing in person
Learn what you can about a person, and write it down in your file about that person (on your Docx file). Little slips of information about that person may not seem important at the time, but added together may make a big difference in the long run. The fact that a person went to Spain for a holiday may not seem important, but years later when that person is accused of having an affair with a person in Spain, and that person says he/she has never even been to Spain, is going to be valuable information for you.
The search engine Google has made Doxing a little easier, but it takes a lot more work than you may realize. You need to be well versed in the many Google techniques needed to correctly mine information from its index. It is easy to come up with hundreds and thousands of completely useless pages. Lots of people also give up very quickly when they cannot find very much out about a person.
Also, consider other search engines both inside and outside of Google. For example, the images search engine is going to reveal some very interesting content, even if the image seems to have nothing to do with the person you are researching. It is frightening the things you can find out about a person using a concentrated and sophisticated Google index search. You can find a person on a dating site, and know their home address within five minutes.
Social media networks
This should go without saying, as you can find out almost anything about a person from social media networks. People set secret questions such as “my first pet” or “Mother’s maiden name” on important accounts, and yet they have that information readily available on their Facebook page. Set up fake accounts and “friend” your target however you can. You are then given access to all the information you would ever need to Docx a person and/or steal their identity.
Image Credit: flickr