OSINT is the acronym for “open source intelligence” which is a term describing a specific route for information gathering. Open source intelligence is one of the most common and useful ways to gather data on a subject — especially in the age of the Internet.
Information does not have to be secret or sensitive to be valuable. Whether information is found by searching registries or official (published) government documents and statements, publicly available handbooks and manuals, or other documents, there is an endless supply of information that contributes to scanning open sources to find data. This data from OSINT can be used in a variety of ways by an attacker.
Threatcare has a virtual Purple Team combining Red Team and Blue Team activities. The ever-expanding features of the Threatcare Suite include in-depth OSINT at the click of a button.
The ability to access and gather open source information provides intelligence at no cost to an attacker, but can take significant time. Aside from this, the user must have a special knowledge of all the proper places to search. This information isn’t just valuable for an attacker; it’s important for organizations to understand how visible they are if an attacker searches for information on them. Knowing what data an attacker can see will better help to protect an organization by giving them insights into their public information, especially if they assumed that some of the public data was secret.
OSINT is also valuable in determining the validity of intelligence and information gathered in other ways. Making use of OSINT can help an attacker greatly in terms of various hacking abilities, especially if they plan on a social engineering campaign against an organization (to break in and attempt to exfiltrate data).