OSINT tools, much more than Open Source and Intelligence – Part I

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OSINT is the combination of OS(Open-Source) and INT(Intelligence) or information. OSINT is quite a crucial element in keeping tabs on the information chaos. When you talk with a hacker, his friend will be the OSINT because intelligence or Information as we put it, makes a hacker’s job easy. OSINT and OSINT tools can prove to be the best initial approach for an attacker. It’s all about where and how the information is collected and processed to deduce data that may help in further exploitation.

In simple words, the information that is available publically is gathered, and it is analyzed as per the specific requirements. There are a number of tools available and some of these we use every-day as Pentesters to accomplish our tasks, but we are not aware of their actual use and impact.

For example, Kali Linux comes with some awesome Pen-testing tools.

Importance of OSINT and OSINT tools for an Organization

  • Identify Data Breaches Early On:

OSINT investigators are specialists at exploring covered information from web crawlers and website pages, and revealing on the web insight rapidly. These specialists are deft at dealing with the devices and procedures needed to direct OSINT examinations and identify any leaks. Organizations are in constant threat of private data being released, for example, client individual data, protected innovation, and the sky is the limit from there.

  • Protect the credibility of brands and maintain trust:

Nothing harms an organization more than losing brand trust. It is a multifaceted task to maintain the reputation of your company. A team leveraging OSINT and OSINT tools expertise will definitely help. It is important to protect customer information and ensure that they have every reason to trust you and your business.

  • Assemble and Understand Public Need:

Information gathered through OSINT exploration can be an important resource for settling on better-educated choices. Web-based media and the dark web are key spots to go for open-source data gathering with respect to general assessment.

  • Pen-testing Activities:

Usually any red teaming or pen-testing activities start with gathering information that may help the pentester to exploit the infrastructure. The aim here is to identify the loopholes which a hacker can exploit and misuse. OSINT as an independent activity can provide vital information which a normal port sweeping may not provide. Access to such huge and collective data helps to identify more security issues.

Digital Footprint for an Organization:

The first task conducted by penetration testers and attackers before launching an attack. Your goal as a hacker is to gather as much information as possible about your target’s IT system, such as-

  • Exposed ports
  • Running network services
  • DNS names and IP addresses
  • Remote access capabilities
  • Unpatched vulnerabilities in applications and operating systems
  • Or the type of security mechanisms in place.

Why do we require OSINT tools?

The pentester needs to find information related to some topics on the web, for this, you first need to search and analyze till you get the exact results This is time-consuming. This is the key reason why we need tools and some smart techniques since these tools or techniques can be used within seconds to execute the above operation.

One of the examples of such an OSINT tool is:

Maltego: Maltego is an Open-Source Intelligence and forensics software or OSINT tool developed by Paterva. It comes pre-built with Kali Linux, but you can install it on any operating system.

It is a program that can be utilized to decide the connections and real-world links between.

  • People
  • Groups of people (social networks)
  • Companies
  • Organizations
  • Web sites

Internet infrastructure such as:

  • Domains
  • DNS names
  • Netblocks
  • IP addresses
  • Phrases
  • Affiliations
  • Documents and files

There are so many OSINT tools available which we will discuss in PART-2(OSINT) with more details.

  1. Google-Dorks
  2. Shodan
  3. Dark-Web
  4. Spiderfoot
  5. The-Harvester and others.

OSINT is so much more than unveiled above. Let’s just say that was just the tip of a huge iceberg that there is. To explore more about OSINT, stay connected and look out for the next part of OSINT.

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