OSINT is a term that has evolved from the military and government intelligence communities into the private sector. There is overlap between the two professional groups, though certain skills are more desirable than others. The importance of effective data gathering and strategic decisions is essential to defending against cyber attackers. As the internet continues to grow, the use of OSINT in cybersecurity is a valuable asset to corporations. In addition to combating threats, OSINT can help organizations understand their competitors, their deals, and their future plans.
The greatest consumer of OSINT intelligence is governments, which seek reports on any issue of global interest. These reports are produced by specialized firms. Ordinary citizens also use OSINT to monitor their online presence to check whether any of their information has been leaked publicly. They can then delete the information they do not want to be exposed to the public. These services also provide valuable information for privacy research and privacy protection. In fact, many governments use OSINT to monitor their citizens’ private information, to prevent bad actors from targeting them.
Open source intelligence also allows for the collection of information on organizations through social media profiles. Organizations often use data-sharing platforms and social media profiles to provide information to the public. These platforms are rich sources of OSINT, as they can uncover email addresses, phone numbers, and other sensitive information. Even photos and other media can provide further information about a company. The OSINT Framework includes a host of other information sources, including open satellite imagery and geolocation.
The various OSINT tools available can help cybersecurity professionals find relevant information quickly. The SANS Institute has published a comprehensive list of OSINT tools, as well as an ongoing update of the latest open source releases. Spiderfoot, for instance, allows users to consolidate hundreds of data feeds into a single search. Unlike Maltego, however, it requires the user to specify a specific action before it will begin searching the open source OSINT sources.
Other OSINT tools include SpiderFoot, a Python-based tool that allows security researchers to automate the process. This tool enumerates phishing scam e-mail addresses, analyzes HTTP headers, and uses other methods to uncover unauthorized relationships. Another OSINT tool is Harvester, which helps security researchers determine a company’s perimeter. This software is available as an open source package on Kali Linux, which comes with an OSINT framework pre-installed.
In addition to the many OSINT tools available online, Google is a great place to begin your search. Google Dorks is a useful OSINT tool that can help you locate relevant information in a much faster manner. You can also search for a specific title, extension, or PDF. You can also search for text and graphics from public speeches. With these tools, you can quickly and easily find what you are looking for. So, what is OSINT?