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Open Source Intelligence

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What is Open Source Intelligence or OSINT?

Open Source Intelligence, also often referred to as OSINT, is the investigative method of utilising the internet and other “open source” resources to gather intelligence, evidence, and data on a subject or organisation. OSINT is not just the gathering of information from major search engines. The surface web, deep web and dark web are all crucial components of any OSINT investigation this is due to the huge amounts of open source information found on world wide web.  Additional public domain data sources of Open Source Intelligence are also utilised examples of these include microblogging sites, social media sites, online dating sites, photo sharing sites, video sharing sites, online discussion forums, chat forums, imageboards, obscure online networks and difficult-to-access web spaces. Offline sources include mass media, academic, diplomatic, and corporate documentation.

Here at “Are They Safe”, we have been conducting Open Source Investigations for many years and are very well known within the industry for our Open Source Intelligence investigations (OSINT investigations). Our Open Source Intelligence investigations have been featured throughout the national and international press as well as on BBC One’s Panorama, BBC One’s “For Love or Money, and BBC Three’s “When Nudes Are Stolen.” We are proven market leaders when it involves Open Source Intelligence (OSINT), internet profiling, web and data trawling. We are able to deliver where competitors simply cannot.

How Does Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) Work?

The data ingested through OSINT is analysed to yield insights from across all data sources. Machine learning and deep neural network algorithms are utilised for the analysis of the data and to learn from the data. In doing so, the machine learning and deep neural network algorithms identify relationships, patterns and trends from the data. For example, in the case of an online video, OSINT intelligence can identify the speaker’s topic of discussion (speech and text analytics), viewers’ reactions in the comment section (text analytics) and automatically provide the viewers’ sentiments, opinion clusters and trends.

What is Open Source Intelligence Used for?

Open Source Intelligence works well when conducted as a standalone investigation. Still, it can also assist larger-scale investigations as OSINT allows us to leverage publicly available content produced online to gain valuable insights to help aid our intelligence and evidence gathering operations. If conducted correctly and by an experienced company such as us, Open Source Intelligence can harvest fantastic results.

OSINT can be used to:

  • Profile Individuals and Organisations
  • Investigate Digital Footprints
  • Investigate Online Fraud
  • Investigate Criminal Activities
  • Investigate Corporate Fraud
  • Investigate Online Harassment
  • Investigate Online Stalking
  • Investigate Online Blackmail
  • Assist in Locating Assets ( Digital Assets)
  • Locate Adverse Media on an Individual or Organisation
  • Locate leaks of sensitive, personal or business, information

As well as being used to profile an organisation or individual, clients often instruct us to conduct OSINT on themselves. Performing OSINT on yourself is a great way to establish precisely what information exists about you online. Have your images been stolen? Is there an individual using your identity online? Are there some historic forum posts linked to you that you had forgotten about? Gathering OSINT on yourself or your business is a great way to understand exactly what external information and content are being distributed about you or your business online. External information can create many cyber threats because it gifts potential attackers with what they need to launch an attack.

Clients also seek our help in identifying potential weaknesses in their networks so that they can be worked on before threat actors can notice and exploit them. We, therefore, use OSINT tools and proven techniques to look for unpatched software, open ports and unsecured devices, data leaks and leaked or exposed assets such as software versions, IP addresses, proprietary code on pastebins, device names and networks.

We pride ourselves on having access to some of the best Open Source Investigative tools and resources on the market, which, when paired with our specialist OSINT investigative skills, methods and techniques, enables us to extract real-time data on subjects and organisations from thousands of online sources.


Do You Need an Open Source Investigation?

Yes, you do. Conducting an Open Source Investigation helps identify external information about an individual, organisation, crime or threat to you or your business. Still, it also helps in testing an organisation’s cybersecurity through penetration testing (ethical hacking) and understanding the actors behind a cybersecurity attack, their tactics, and targets.

If you are interested in conducting an OSINT investigation on a subject, organisation or even yourself why not contact one of our expert OSINT investigators today for a free consultation. Our Open Source Intelligence Investigations are perfectly legal and are a fantastic way to successfully profile an organisation or individual. Contact us today on 0800 0199424 for more information.

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