OSINT or Open source intelligence refers to information about businesses or people that can be collected from online sources. However, it requires tools to do so, and here are the 10 best OSINT Tools for 2020.
In a world full of information overload, it is natural that we feel the need to vet out useful information. To do so, organizations globally employ a range of tools, both paid and unpaid. The latter category falls into the domain of open-source intelligence (OSINT) and can be incredibly helpful, especially when you’re looking to save hefty fees on market intelligence reports. Keeping this in mind, here are the 10 best OSINT tools for 2020:
Featuring over 30 categories of potential data including the dark web, social networks, and malicious file analysis; the OSINT Framework tool allows you to see the various ways in which you could access such types of data.
For example, let’s say you wanted to know where could you get more information about the dark web. To do so, you would simply click the relevant field on the tree as shown below and it would display a variety of sources you could use to further do your research:
This saves you a ton of time for having to search for the right tools and literally is a life-saver!
Known as the search engine of Internet of Thing (IoT) devices, Shodan allows you to find out information just about any device connected to the internet, whether it is a refrigerator, database, webcam, an industrial control system, or a simple smart television.
The advantage of Shodan is that hardly any other service offers such depth which can not only allow you to collect valuable intelligence but also gain a competitive advantage if you’re a business looking to know more about your competition.
To add to its credibility, Shodan boasts of the tool being used by 81% of Fortune 100 companies & 1000+ universities.
GHunt is a new OSINT tool that lets users extract information from any Google Account using an email. The information that GHunt extracts include:
- Owner’s name
- Google ID
- If the account is a Hangouts Bot
- Last time the profile was edited
- Possible YouTube channel
- Possible other usernames
- Public photos (P)
- Phones models (P)
- Phones firmware
- Installed Softwares
- Google Maps reviews
- Possible physical location
- Events from Google Calendar
- Activated Google services (YouTube, Photos, Maps, News360, Hangouts, etc.)
4. That’s Them
How many times have you wanted to know more about an individual before moving forward with them in terms of a business opportunity or anything else? That’s Them helps you do just that by allowing background checks to be conducted using either an individual’s full name and residency city & state; phone number; or full address.
In return, it gives you access to their police records, lawsuits, asset ownership details, addresses, and phone numbers.
These checks are though currently available only within the United States. Furthermore, you would need to subscribe to a plan in order to get more than just basic information about someone.
Allowing you to track satellites from afar, N2YO is a great tool for space enthusiasts. It does so by featuring a regularly searched menu of satellites in addition to a database where you could make custom queries along the lines of parameters such as the Space Command ID, launch date, satellite name, and an international designator. You could also set up custom alerts to know about space station events along with a live stream of the International Space Station(ISS)!
6. Google & Google Images
While Google the main search engine is something that needs no introduction with its vast array of search results including videos and curated news, a lesser-known “Google Images” also exists which can come in very handy.
Apart from the obvious function of allowing you to search images, it allows you to reverse-search any image to find its real origin and therefore save you a lot of time. For example, if I had an image that I needed to track to its original uploader in order to obtain copyright permissions, I would simply upload it to Google Images who would index the internet to find me the source.
Another incredibly helpful feature is the ability to filter images by their resolution, size, and copyrights license helping you find highly relevant images. Furthermore, as it scours images from across the internet, the results are much more in number as compared to other free sites like Pixabay.
7. Yandex Images
The Russian counter-weight to America’s Google, Yandex has been extremely popular in Russia and offers users the option to search across the internet for thousands of images. This is in addition to its reverse-image functionality which is remarkably similar to Google. A good option included within is that you could sort images category wise which can make your searches more specific and accurate.
Tip: In my personal experience; Yandex image search results are far more accurate and in-depth than Google Images.
Censys is built to help you secure your digital assets in a nutshell. How it works is by allowing users to enter details of their websites, IP addresses, and other digital asset identifiers which it then analyses for vulnerabilities. Once done, it then presents actionable insights for its users.
But this is not all. It is one thing to secure your company’s networks but another to ensure that work-from-home employees are not vulnerable as well with their own setups. Keeping this in mind, you could “scan your employees’ home networks for exposures and vulnerabilities.”
Every brand owner knows the disappointment of finding the social media handle they wanted for their business already taken. Knowem tackles this by allowing one to search usernames on over 500 social media networks including the famous ones with one simple search.
Additionally, it also has a feature to search for the availability of domain names but this isn’t something unique since pretty much every domain registrar would do so.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for someone to claim a bunch of profiles with a username of your choice automatically, 4 different paid plans are also offered as shown below.
10. The Internet Archive
A bit nostalgic about the 1990s? We have a time machine here allowing you to access the different versions of pretty much any website date wise. This means, if you wanted to see how a specific website looked like on let’s say 24 June 2003, you could do so using the Internet Archive tool.
A snapshot of Google from January 25, 1999.
One potential use of the tool is for analyzing a competitor’s web presence over a time period and using it as market intelligence.
With database breaches happening every day, it’s only a matter of time before your data also gets exposed. Therefore, keeping a check is vital to ensure you can change your credentials and other details in time. HIBP lets you exactly do so by entering either your password or email address.
To conclude, although this list is by no means exhaustive, these 10 OSINT tools will not only save you time but also a lot of money. It is important to remember that every day, professionals from various walks of life utilize these and so it makes perfect sense for you to add it to your toolkit as well.
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