Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) - Practicle Approach
Information is a processed data that contains some meaning, data is any raw facts and figure but when you arrange or process data to make it meaningful it becomes information. Information is the key of success for many operation specially Intelligence operation; consider 9/11 scenario what was the weakness of security agencies ? Obviously they did not have the information regarding the attack (remember information). So lack of information could be a weakness, but at the same if you have the right information then it might become your strength. Hacking & penetration testing process is also depends on the information that you collect from information gathering process, the more information that you have the more chances of success are.

Question arises regarding the techniques and sources from where the information can be gathered, Govt has its own way to gather information and intelligence agencies also has their own. But what about a common man ? Yes infosec and business community have worked in this direction now we have enough sources and techniques to gather required information.

What is OSINT ?

Open source INTelligence (OSINT) is the process to collect information from publicly available sources. Here open source does not mean the open-source software or community, open-source in OSINT means publicly available sources.

Usage of OSINT

  • Business intelligence
  • Govt intelligence
  • Individual intelligence

Business intelligence is required set of information acquired through multiple sources, on the basis of this data business decisions used to be made. Since the decisions are based on the collected information so the process should be fair enough to gather the right information. Competitor analysis and self corporate analysis can be done on the basis of publicly available information.

Govt can use the information (available publicly) for various purposes, for example the can read/understand public opinion regarding the Govt policies. In election they can understand public needs so that they can deliver what public want (clever move :P)

Individual intelligence; if you really want to know about yourself, I mean you know yourself but in some cases you want to know that what other people think about you. So you can gather information about yourself and then you can analysis your reputation, marketer and public speakers are doing it to manipulate the information available. Besides your own information you can look into the life of other person (cyber stalking) ohh yes.


So far we have discussed the basis of open source intelligence but this is not enough, the tools and techniques to gather information need to be discussed. We have previously discussed many tools and their usage to find information from different sources, in the next article of this series we will discuss the tools (free tools) that can be used to gather information from Internet.
Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) - Practicle Approach Reviewed by Ethical Hacking on 9:47 AM Rating: 5

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