Police may have exhausted all known leads, but new information for long-term missing persons cases could soon be uncovered, all thanks to internet hackers.
Hundreds of hackers will gather virtually on Thursday to help unearth fresh information that could lead to the whereabouts of missing people.
The Missing Persons Hackathon involves more than 600 hackers from across the country, who will be trawling through open-source data online to to assist with 12 missing persons cases.
Physical events will be held in Canberra at the QT Hotel, along with events in Adelaide and Perth.
Participants will also be taking part virtually at other locations across Australia.
The event, a collaboration between the Australian Federal Police and not-for-profit Austcyber, is now in its second year.
Last year's hackathon helped to uncover 40 new pieces of information previously unknown to police working on the investigation.
Organisers of this year's event are hoping for a similar outcome.
Austcyber's national network lead Lina Cavanagh said the hackers were able to provide a fresh perspective on information critical to missing persons cases.
"We're not trying to replicate police investigations, this is a complementary method to their policing," Ms Cavanagh said. "The ultimate goal is to give resolve to the loved ones of missing persons.
Out of the more than 3900 submissions last year that were provided to law enforcement, there were 40 pieces of brand new information that police did not uncover during their investigation.
Those involved in the hackathon will have six hours to unearth as much information as they can using open data on the internet.
The only criteria for the missing persons cases to be included is that they have to have gone missing in the past 10 years.
"What we're primarily looking at is a person's digital footprint and we need to make sure we have access to that information," Ms Cavanagh said. "After 10 years, it's a little harder for participants to get the relevant information."
Participants had to apply in order to participate and were vetted by Austcyber in order to become involved. Those taking part are only allowed to access publicly available information and do not have access to internal police data.
The concept of the hackathon was based off a similar concept that was carried out in Canada.
The coordinator of the National Missing Persons Coordination Centre, Jodie McEwan, said the hackathon was crucial in helping to provide a potential lead.
"All the information we can gather in these missing person cases is critical, and law enforcement can't do it on their own," she said.
"We rely on the community to provide information if they have it.
"We're relying on new digital and cyber skill sets to complement investigations to make a breakthrough in some of these cases."
Following on from last year's event, Ms McEwan said it was hoped events such as the hackathon could help provide more tools and information for investigators in state and territory police.