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What is OSINT and how can you use it?

OSINT, or open-source intelligence, is the collection and analysis of publicly available information to produce actionable intelligence. It is used by a wide range of organizations, including governments, businesses, and non-governmental organizations, to support a variety of functions, such as:

  • Security threat intelligence: OSINT can be used to identify and track potential security threats, such as cyberattacks, terrorist plots, and natural disasters.
  • Market research: OSINT can be used to gather information about customers, competitors, and market trends.
  • Investigative journalism: OSINT can be used to uncover hidden information and investigate wrongdoing.
  • Competitive intelligence: OSINT can be used to monitor competitors’ activities and identify their strengths and weaknesses.

How to use OSINT

OSINT can be performed using a variety of tools and techniques. Some common sources of OSINT data include:

  • Social media: Social media platforms such as Twitter X, Facebook, and LinkedIn can be used to gather information about individuals and organizations, such as their interests, activities, and relationships.
  • Search engines: Search engines such as Google can be used to find information about a wide range of topics, including news articles, government records, and academic research.
  • Public databases: Public databases such as court records, property records, and business records can be used to gather detailed information about individuals and organizations.
  • OSINT tools: There are a number of specialized OSINT tools available that can help users to automate tasks such as data collection and analysis.

Tools for OSINT

  • Buster: Buster is an OSINT tool used to gather information that is linked to an email address.
  • Danger-Zone: This tool is used to correlate data between Domains, IPs, and Email Addresses and present it in a graphical view.
  • R3con1z3r: Passive recon tool for web information gathering.
  • Shodan: It is an advanced search engine.
  • theHarvester: It performs open source intelligence (OSINT) gathering to help determine a domain’s external threat landscape. The tool gathers names, emails, IPs, subdomains, and URLs by using multiple public resources.
  • TinEye: TinEye is a reverse image search engine that uses image recognition technology to find images that match a search image.
  • Maltego: Maltego is the perfect tool to quickly obtain and analyze the digital presence of a person of interest.
  • Metagoofil: Metagoofil is an information gathering tool designed for extracting metadata of public documents belonging to a target company.
  • Recon-ng: Open Source Intelligence gathering tool aimed at reducing the time spent harvesting information from open sources.
  • FinalRecon: It is a fast and simple script of recon
  • DNStwist: Domain name permutation engine for detecting homograph phishing attacks, typo squatting, and brand impersonation
  • Userrecon-py: Find username in social networks
  • Photon: Incredibly fast crawler designed for OSINT.
  • TheInsp3ctor: All-in-one tool for information gathering.
  • EmailHarvester: A tool to retrieve domain emails.
  • Pymeta: Finds and extracts files from a domain.
  • Torcrawl: Crawl and extract webpages through TOR network.
  • Google: Google’s reverse image search engine.
  • Email2PhoneNumber: A tool that allows you to obtain a target’s phone number just by having his/her email address.
  • pwnHACkER OSINT: A site via startme with hundreds of usable OSINT links and tools, updated regularly.

Will update list as new tools become available.

-jT @majorjoker

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