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Über dieses Buch

Apply Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) techniques, methods, and tools to acquire information from publicly available online sources to support your intelligence analysis. Use the harvested data in different scenarios such as financial, crime, and terrorism investigations as well as performing business competition analysis and acquiring intelligence about individuals and other entities. This book will also improve your skills to acquire information online from both the regular Internet as well as the hidden web through its two sub-layers: the deep web and the dark web.

The author includes many OSINT resources that can be used by intelligence agencies as well as by enterprises to monitor trends on a global level, identify risks, and gather competitor intelligence so more effective decisions can be made. You will discover techniques, methods, and tools that are equally used by hackers and penetration testers to gather intelligence about a specific target online. And you will be aware of how OSINT resources can be used in conducting social engineering attacks.

Open Source Intelligence Methods and Tools takes a practical approach and lists hundreds of OSINT resources that can be used to gather intelligence from online public sources. The book also covers how to anonymize your digital identity online so you can conduct your searching activities without revealing your identity.

What You’ll Learn

Identify intelligence needs and leverage a broad range of tools and sources to improve data collection, analysis, and decision making in your organization

Use OSINT resources to protect individuals and enterprises by discovering data that is online, exposed, and sensitive and hide the data before it is revealed by outside attackers

Gather corporate intelligence about business competitors and predict future market directions

Conduct advanced searches to gather intelligence from social media sites such as Facebook and TwitterUnderstand the different layers that make up the Internet and how to search within the invisible web which contains both the deep and the dark webs

Who This Book Is For

Penetration testers, digital forensics investigators, intelligence services, military, law enforcement, UN agencies, and for-profit/non-profit enterprises



Chapter 1. The Evolution of Open Source Intelligence

Since the end of the Cold War, global societies have become more open, and the revolution of the Internet and its widespread use have turned the world into a small village. Unleashing the Internet network to billions of people worldwide to communicate and exchange digital data has shifted the entire world into what is now an information age. This transformation to the digital age brought huge benefits to our society; however, the speed and scope of the transformation have also triggered different kinds of risks. For instance, cybercriminals, terrorist groups, oppressive regimes, and all kinds of malicious actors are using the Internet effectively to conduct their crimes. Juniper Research predicts that cybercrime will cost businesses more than $2 trillion by 2019,i so these risks encourage governments to invest in the development of open source intelligence (OSINT) tools and techniques to counter current and future cybersecurity challenges.
Nihad A. Hassan, Rami Hijazi

Chapter 2. Introduction To Online Threats and Countermeasures

As you do your research for OSINT, you will certainly leave digital traces behind that can be used to track you. For example, consider an investigator performing an online search for drug dealers in Mexico. What if the people the investigator was searching for discovers his search? What if they could learn the source of the search (the organization or the person behind the search) and the searcher’s location? If you think that criminal organizations are not technically savvy, we’re afraid you are wrong. Terrorists and criminal organizations have specialized teams working in IT to gather intelligence online, and even small criminal organizations with limited budgets outsource such tasks to specialized organizations for a fee.
Nihad A. Hassan, Rami Hijazi

Chapter 3. The Underground Internet

How well do you know the Internet? Being a regular Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram user and knowing how to use Google to find stuff online will not make you a super Internet user because you are just scratching the surface of the Web. Most web content is hidden and needs special methods to access it.
Nihad A. Hassan, Rami Hijazi

Chapter 4. Search Engine Techniques

The number of Internet users is increasing steadily, as is the number of active websites. According to Netcraft’s January 2017 Web Server Survey, there are 1,800,047,111 billion websites.i Of course, most of these websites belong to the surface—ordinary—Internet. The number of pages on these websites changes continually according to many factors. Google Inside Search estimates that there are more than 130 trillion web pages discovered by Google; about 50 billion of them have been included in Google’s searchable index as of October 2017. ii Do not forget that Google—and similar search engines—cannot index the entire Web, as pages that belong to the deep/dark web cannot be discovered by typical search engines.
Nihad A. Hassan, Rami Hijazi

Chapter 5. Social Media Intelligence

In today’s digital age, it is rare to meet a person who is connected to the Internet who doesn’t have an account on one or more social media sites. People use social sites to socialize, play games, shop, communicate online, and seek information about anything you can imagine. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Google have become integral parts of our lives, and hundreds of millions of people spend considerable amounts of time on these platforms daily.
Nihad A. Hassan, Rami Hijazi

Chapter 6. People Search Engines and Public Records

In today’s digital age, most people have some kind of online presence, either directly or indirectly. Other entities—such as government and local authorities—also store some type of information about their citizens in publicly accessible databases. Searching for someone is not always as easy as typing their name into Google or Facebook; people with a small online presence will not appear easily when searching for them online. In the previous chapter, we demonstrated the importance of social media sites to find people online. In this chapter, we will continue our discussion of how to find people online using specialized websites known as people search engines in addition to looking up people in government records (also known as public records).
Nihad A. Hassan, Rami Hijazi

Chapter 7. Online Maps

Tracking users’ geolocation information has become increasingly popular with the advance of computing devices, mobile communications, and social media platforms because these technologies make posting someone’s current location online a matter of clicking one button.
Nihad A. Hassan, Rami Hijazi

Chapter 8. Technical Footprinting

Footprinting is the first task that hackers—both black and white hats—do before initiating their attacks against computerized systems. It is the act of using different tools and techniques to acquire as much information as they can before attacking the target. In the previous chapters, we covered how to use a wide array of tools and techniques to collect data online about different entities (such as people and organizations). However, we did not cover how to investigate a target’s own web pages and network to acquire technical information.
Nihad A. Hassan, Rami Hijazi

Chapter 9. What’s Next?

OSINT has become the preferred information-gathering method for intelligence agencies around the world. Traditionally, intelligence services relied on other channels to acquire information with varying degrees of reliability and usefulness; however, as computing technology continues to advance and the Internet and social networks are even more widely accessible around the globe, intelligence services have shifted a large percentage of their intelligence-gathering activities into the OSINT scope. Some intelligence experts estimate that more than 90 percent of intelligence information is coming now from OSINT sources.
Nihad A. Hassan, Rami Hijazi


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