OSINT: Open Source Intelligence A Beginners Guide

Today in this post we are going to tell you the basic of OSINT, which will give the basic understanding of OSINT




This Tutorial we are going to Cover


  • What is Osint
  • How to use OSINT
  • OSINT methodology
  • OSINT Techniques
  • OSINT Tools


What is OSINT?


OSINT: Open Source Intelligence is a technique used to gather open-source data from various freely available resources for a specific purpose

OSINT is not limited to Cyber Security, it's Scope is even wider,

The main purpose of Open Source Intelligence is to Gather Data that can be used for investigation, This may sound simple but its power is unbelievable, by using this power one can utilise their intelligence

The data we gather using OSINT may be different for different purposes and it differs from person to person but the techniques we use are same,

For suppose a journalist can gather data for checking fake news, a pentester gathers data for finding loopholes, while big companies gather the data to make more money

Here is a real-life scenario where OSINT plays a major role,

so let's talk about me

As a blogger my goal is to bring more traffic to this blog and make more money, so I try to understand my reader's minds then gathers data from different resources and do some analysis, thinks how I can deliver a better article that users may easily understand and keep reading, I write according to it, then publish articles hoping that it will give satisfaction to users

In the same way, big companies gather data using OSINT about their Competitors and analyze the data about their customer's behaviour, sales, business logic, management and so on then they try to follow the same strategy with little modification to improve their businesses

OSINT is not limited to individuals or companies, the same can be used by Law Enforces, Hackers, Journalists, Criminals



Why you should learn OSINT?


Well OSINT is all about gathering data and doing making a report of it, then how this may help others like you and me?


Then here are some key reasons why you should learn so



  • Fun
  • Knowledge
  • Protection


Fun:


Who doesn't want fun right?

OSINT is sometimes fun, you're not just gathering data about organizations, companies, you can do even more

With the help of OSINT, you can know who is doing what, who is going where, who is eating what

You can even know what happening around you, interested to know who tweet what and from where,

What happening in your locality, what are the upcoming events, and what are the hot products that are gonna launch this week

Not limited to this, even more

The second reason is


Knowledge:


You may not interested in having fun, but interested to know

For example, let's see how I was interested to know

As an infosec guy, I was more interested in Cyber Security, for that, I do OSINT for knowing who hacked what, what is trending in infosec, and that are the latest Vulnerability discoveries in this week, what are the software releases, and so on.

The knowledge tastes different for different people, for example, if you're a movie lover, you may be interested in movies, for that you want to know what are the movies going to release this month,

The same way another guy, might be interested in knowing cricket events, so he is eager is to know what are the upcoming matches, and where the matches to place, which team gonna be the best

By using OSINT Techniques you can choose your own way to improve your knowledge that may be any field you wish

Protection:


When it comes to the online world, privacy matters a lot, because you're not alone in this world, the same OSINT is applicable for Criminals, Law Enforces, Government

Your data including name, age, date of birth, phone number, the location may be worthless for you but companies make billions with the data

Once You learn then you will realise how powerful OSINT is

Who does OSINT?


  • Hackers
  • Journalists
  • Law enforces
  • Government
  • Businesses
  • Terrorist Organizations


How to use OSINT


You know what is OSINT and how OSINT is useful, in this osint for beginners guide, we are covering some basic of information gathering methods for OSINT

OSINT methodology


OSINT methodology

Image credit: OWASP

OSINT techniques and resources


OSINT resources


We are gonna use Free and Open Source Tools to gather information, note that doxing is a little bit different from OSINT

In doxing, we use the same tools to find info about a person or an organisation, but in OSINT we target a particular topic

Here we will gather the information related to a topic by using various tools then the end we will make a collection of information then do an analysis

In this tutorial, We are just giving you the basic knowledge of OSINT, but in our upcoming articles we will try to explain well


OSINT Tools

Google dorks:

When it comes to OSINT, google dorks play a major role, firstly everyone starts with search engines, google gives us various options to filter and search

Also known as dorks, you should not always depend on google, there are other search engines as well

Shodan:

Shodan is also a search engine, but it is widely used by cybersecurity professionals, hackers use shodan to gather information about new Vulnerability, and to know how many machines are affected by a new CVE etc..

Maltego

Maltego is an open-source information gathering tool, and it's an easy to use tool, where you can gather data and make analysis

archive.org

This is a Website which keeps records of old pages, sometimes while gathering data some domains may be expired and no longer available to access, then, in that case, we use this website

OSINT Framework

https://osintframework.com/ is an awesome collection of tools that we use while gathering data,

In that Website, you will find some useful tools which you can use for OSINT

Note that OSINT is a wider topic and the data we gather and the tools we use may be different for different people

For suppose a hacker who gathers data using the OSINT Tools is may differ than a Journalist use

This tutorial is a basic introduction only, upcoming articles we will try to cover more about it, if you could found online resources to learn about OSINT then learn from that

Further Reading


How To Use Shodan

How to Dox Someone: A Noob Friendly Guide

How to Be a Hacker | A Beginners Guide


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