19 Dec 2018
December 19, 2018

Do You Even OSINT?

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Just like they tell you not to do, I am going to do it.  I’m starting off with a solid disclaimer this area is not my specialty nor is it my passion.  I do have a bit of experience in this area and, after speaking with some colleagues, was convinced to put a little something together.  This is not an all-inclusive article about Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) by any means.

Ok, that said, lets dig in.  Open Source Intelligence is a great, although mostly underused, source of intelligence for law enforcement, executive protection teams, security details etc.… So why is it underused? My theory is that most truly don’t know how much information can actually be found on the internet, and perhaps may be also be a bit overwhelmed with it.

In the world of executive protection or other details where forward planning and assessments are a part of your livelihood open source sites and informational venues can be a blessing.

For more detailed route selections, you may want more up to date satellite images than you can typically get from google maps. For this there are a couple options with more on the horizon. One of these options is a mobile device compatible service called SpyMeSat, https://spymesat.com/, notifies you when an imaging satellite could be taking your picture, the only mobile app to offer on-demand access to the latest commercial high resolution satellite imagery, and with the release of v3.1. This app also allows you to pay for images of specific areas anywhere in the world. Another option, which is still in the works as of the time of this article, is Earthnow, https://earthnow.com/. This company claims to be creating the means for you to instantly see almost anywhere on Earth in “true real-time.”

For doing research on individuals of interest who may have made previous threats or presented themselves as a suspicious individual, there is of course all the typical social media outlets to check. After you’ve checked Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.…. I could go on and on about different sites for different searches but one can really find most of what they are looking for with this site – www.osintframework.com. This site was put together by Justine Nordine (who I gained permission from to share his site) and I truly believe he did one fantastic job!

With all of those OSINT sources at your disposal you can’t disregard the power of networking and paid services that will, at times, provide even more detailed information.

With all of that said, OSINT can be a great resource but it can also be a distraction. Be sure to use all applicable resources at your disposal.

Take care and be safe!