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Top 5 OSINT Techniques for Effective Information Gathering

Information gathering is integral to a targeted attack and when testing for personal penetration in cyberattacks. As most areas of life become digitalized, many people try to ensure they are operating securely and gathering data reliably. There are tools and various options available to confidentially obtain information from publicly available sources. Such a technique is called open source intelligence, or OSINT. 

Today, the massive use of social media and various online activities have forced the widespread application of this principle for commercial or personal purposes. The search criteria can be any personal information, including a person’s profile, name, the scope of the organization, or the name of the company.

What is OSINT and its intended use

OSINT means intelligence among available sources, covering information related to a particular person or group working in a specific direction. All the data available from public sources can be obtained legally without repercussions. The OSINT search tool covers several areas where it functions well and allows you to get the desired results in a specific period. It includes print media, newspaper articles, press releases, interviews, and more. It also covers data that you can search on various types of media. However, the information is considered authentic and does not need any rebuttals.

The whole OSINT is about the user analyzing all the material on the Internet in a simple and accessible way and conducting a thorough analysis for credibility across multiple sources. Those who want to use this type of information retrieval can apply manual or automated search. In the first case, it is pretty challenging to carry out such actions, which applies only to specific virtual platforms unavailable for these types of tools.

As for the automated search, the process is carried out with the participation of an intermediary – framework. This framework searches through thousands of different sources, providing the obtained information in its entirety without unnecessary material. Users will only need to analyze, structure, and draw conclusions. However, some systems do this offline. These include goburster. It is considered the fastest, most modern, and multifunctional tool for searching files by brute force. Here, the entire system performs OSINT offline according to the given parameters

Popular OSINT methods

To apply this modern tool, you must have a minimum amount of data to run the search. Most methods are available from external sources, which every owner of modern devices can use. The most popular and effective methods include:

  1. Analyzing active links graphically – Maltego. OSINT works properly on iOS, Windows, and Linux platforms. More than one million objects can be structured using various graphical elements. The search is performed via DNS records, whois, search engines, and social networks.
  2. Darknet Information Search – DarkOwl Vision. Data integration is performed in the darknet space to find sensitive data. The method supports filters and logical expressions.
  3. Information analytics based on machine learning and artificial intelligence – Singularity Signal. This method is designed to prevent cyber-attacks and identity theft from attackers.
  4. Penetration Testing – Metasploit. Software that allows you to detect vulnerabilities reliably. The functionality is varied and includes access on the smartphone to the camera, microphone, speaker, and more.
  5. The cloud version of the browser – SpiderFoot. The program detects security breaches and identifies compromised accounts. The scanning is based on domain, IP address, or username

Other ways exist, such as PhoneInfoga, where OSINT is done through a cell phone number. 

Some destinations have programming language limitations: Golang, Elixir, Python, PHP, Perl, and others. OSINT can be extremely useful if you want to learn more about a company for future employment or before making a deal with a firm you have never heard of. Checking available information and safe, official sources has no repercussions and is completely secure.

Top 5 OSINT Techniques for Effective Information Gathering

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