Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT) is a term that describes the practice of gathering information from public sources. It’s important to note that this is not the same thing as “public intelligence,” which refers to intelligence gathered by government agencies outside their classified information networks (e.g., Google search). Individuals can use OSINT, businesses, and governments alike – though often with very different goals in mind.
What Is Open-Source Intelligence?
Open-source intelligence, or OSINT, is a new buzzword that’s been thrown around a lot lately. But what exactly is it? And why should you care?
Open-source intelligence (OSINT) is freely and publicly available information from public sources such as the internet. The term has been used for decades in military and intelligence circles, but it’s only recently become mainstream knowledge thanks to companies like Google and Twitter.
Micro Focus experts state, “The OSINT analysis is based on deep neural network algorithms and machine learning.”
OSINT can be collected through many different methods:
- Web scraping services or using social media sites like Facebook or LinkedIn are two ways of searching for information about someone without having access to their private accounts.
- Gathering phone numbers from websites like Whitepages.
- Even using tools like Shodan to find out which devices are connected to the internet at a given location (this one might seem more ominous than helpful since hackers could use it).
Open Source Intelligence Tools & Techniques
Open-source intelligence tools are a great way to collect data quickly. They use a variety of methods, including social media monitoring, search engine research, website crawling, data extraction and aggregation/aggregation. There are also tools for visualizing your findings as charts and graphs.
What Is Open Source Intelligence Used For?
Open-source intelligence is a tool that can be used in various ways. It can be used to gain insight into the following areas:
- Commercial – Particularly if you are in business, open-source intelligence can help you learn more about your competition, as well as give you an indication as to what your customers are thinking about your company and its products. You might also find interesting information about other companies in the industry that could give insight into any changes that may have occurred recently or may soon occur.
- Government – Governments use open source intelligence for similar reasons as businesses do—to learn more about potential threats or opportunities with foreign governments and organizations—but also for military purposes (such as gathering information on an enemy).
The Dark Side of Open Source Intelligence
It’s important to remember that the dark side of open-source intelligence is that criminals can use it. One of the biggest concerns when discussing OSCINT is that a bad actor will use this information to find out more about you and your personal life, such as what websites you visit or passwords you have used. This kind of information can be used for malicious purposes, including identity theft and other forms of fraud.
You should always take precautions when using OSCINT to ensure that your private data stays private; never give out any personally identifying information (PII) on any website unless necessary!
Open-source intelligence (OSINT) is a powerful tool for gathering intelligence on individuals, businesses and governments. It’s also used in the private sector to gather information on competitors or for marketing purposes, such as by political campaigns. For example, OSINT can be used to track down criminals or terrorists, but it can also have unintended consequences, such as when law enforcement officers use social media posts to track down suspects without their knowledge or consent.