Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT) refers to the practice of gathering and analysing information from publicly available sources. Abbreviated as OSINT, this method involves sourcing data from a range of outlets, including websites, social media platforms, forums, news articles, government publications, and even the less explored corners of the dark web.
OSINT is especially important to industry sectors such as government, law enforcement, cybersecurity, journalism, research, and business. Its main goal is to acquire evidence, insights, and knowledge for investigation, intelligence, cybersecurity, and research. As legal and ethical boundaries could easily be breached while carrying out OSINT, it is crucial to establish as well as adhere to well-defined guidelines for information collection.
The dynamic nature of the cyber landscape coupled with the continual advancement of technologies and intelligence techniques, underscores the significance of OSINT training. This training serves as a vital counterpart to conventional investigative approaches, enhancing the scope and depth of investigations. It has the potential to offer additional context and open doors to new lines of inquiry. Moreover, OSINT has the unique ability to unearth data from websites that elude search engine indexing or no longer exist, amplifying the comprehensiveness of investigative efforts.
More importantly, OSINT enhances decision-making through providing a more in-depth understanding of the subject matter. The information amassed through OSINT holds the potential to act as a catalyst for extended investigations, offer leads to further pursuit or aid in the identification of witnesses, or corroborate statements. In essence, OSINT training empowers investigators to tap into a wider audience, by extracting insights from sources worldwide, all while transcending geographical constraints.
According to SEO firm, Backlinko, the average number of social media accounts held by millennial or Gen Z users globally is 8.5. Social media platforms are major sources of OSINT due to the large amount of information being exchanged. Typically, social media OSINT entails the examination of numerous accounts to extract pertinent evidence.
Unlike OSINT on the surface web, social media intelligence is not as straightforward. As we know, not all profiles are readily accessible due to privacy and data protection settings. Also, social media companies would only release personal information and data to the police. Unfortunately, most investigators might conclude their social media intelligence work when they encounter closed social media profiles. However, there are advanced tools (paid) that can help extend research and find non-obvious clues to deal with closed social media profiles.
Despite these hurdles, adept OSINT investigators are able to extract valuable insights from social media platforms using advanced search methodologies, scrutinizing metadata, and validating information. It remains paramount, however, to acknowledge the constraints and ethical considerations entailed in the process of gathering intelligence from social media sources.
Unlock the power of open-source intelligence with Maitre Allianz’s transformative OSINT course – SPYCRAFT. Tailored for professionals seeking to elevate their investigative prowess, this 2-day workshop immerses you in foundational OSINT techniques guided by cybersecurity experts renowned for their real-world experience.
Master OSINT on the surface web, navigate the mysterious Deep Web, and uncover elusive information from social media. Receive field-tested tools to help you thrive beyond the course. Ideal for investigators, law enforcement, analysts, and more, this hands-on journey empowers investigators to excel in online investigations while staying within ethical and legal boundaries.
Participants without prior OSINT experience are welcome to join our foundational class. Investigators who already possess foundational skills can join our intermediate class and those with experience can join our advanced class. To register for our cutting-edge OSINT course, visit https://maitreallianz.com/course/spycraft/.