About The Project

While it’s true that many sock puppets are used to spread disinformation or lies, they can also be used to find information that helps protect a person or a business, or find a missing person.

When you search “sock puppet accounts” using Google, there are a few definitions that show in the search results and they all follow a common theme. The most common definition is found on Wikipedia’s entry: A sock puppet or sockpuppet is an online identity used for purposes of deception. Daniel Kats, Senior Principal Researcher for NortonLifeLock Research, held a similar view in his article ‘Identifying Sockpuppet Accounts on Social Media Platforms’. “We define a sockpuppet as a fictitious online identity created for the purposes of deception,” wrote Kats.

Sock puppet accounts are mainly known to those outside the information security field as accounts used for disinformation purposes, such as swaying your opinion about a topic or a product. However, this is not the only way to use a sock puppet account.

This project discusses what sock puppets are, two main uses for sock puppets, and a few struggles of creating a sock puppet account. Included is a lab in two parts on creating and and aging a sock puppet account.

21st Century Sock Puppets: Pulling the Wool Over on You.

A white paper published with the Hetherington Group based on the research for Sock Puppet Cobbler.

What’s inside



Discusses sock puppets, what they are, they are used, and any other details that are believed to be relevant.


Lab 1: Planting

A step-by-step walkthrough for creating a basic sock puppet account.


Lab 2: Playback

A walkthrough for aging your sock puppet account.

About the author.

Mariel Klosterman is a cyber threat analyst and researcher. Her areas of interest are defensive security and open-source intelligence (OSINT).

Klosterman has conducted significant research relating to sock puppet accounts, which are an integral part of OSINT and digital investigations. She has spoken at multiple security groups and conferences, and received recognition and an award for her research from the OSMOSIS Institute.

Agent Sandstone