OSINT Open Source Intelligence can be defined as the intelligence gathered from sources made available to the public. The idea is to turn this intelligence into tailored knowledge to be used during the process of specific decisions. For example, it can be used by companies to establish consumer trends and patterns, or even to find out if their products are being counterfeited or illegally sold over the web.
This research process is the opposite of covert intelligence which will instead make use of private information not available to the public. OSINT only uses intelligence from publicly accessible knowledge, making it a very ethical and efficient intelligence gathering method.
OSINT can be gathered through many public resources, including but not limited to:
PUBLIC DATAOfficial government data, government budgets, demographic information
DARK-WEB DATAAny data and information hidden on the deep web, also known as the ‘dark web’.
MEDIA DATAData from television, newspapers, magazines
SOCIAL DATASocial networking sites
VIDEO DATAVideo sharing sites
ONLINE COMMUNITIESWebsites, forums and any user generated data, user generated content
ACADEMIC DATAAcademic papers, conferences
OBSERVATIONAL AND GEOSPATIAL DATAData collected from maps, plans, navigational data, worldwide satellite imagery and photography
To clarify with any confusions that might arise from its name which contains the term ‘open-source’, OSINT is not related to open-source software.