What is OSINT?
OSINT (Open source intelligence) is information collected from public sources. These sources can be newspapers, blogs, web pages, tweets, social media cards, images, podcasts, … but also Search Engines.
It is essential to note that information and intelligence are not equivalent. Open-source findings are raw data until we give them meaning by analysing the data critically. Information transforms into intelligence only after a critical analysis is performed with a problem-solving mindset.
Why do hackers use OSINT?
Through the use of OSINT techniques, hackers can firstly identify security vulnerabilities within an organisation’s web applications and infrastructure. They can then use the information to access sensitive data in your network.
How do they start?
A hacker will begin his or her hacking journey with the passive gathering of information.
He or she will firstly try to gather preliminary information about the systems, their software and people associated with the target passively (without being detected).
Many people use such information every day without realising it (e.g. searching for product information, reading news, …).
They identify vulnerabilities and weaknesses in the security policies of the targeted company.
Defensive use of OSINT
Fortunately, such techniques can be, and are, used by security professionals in a defensive way. At Approach, we do this when conducting a pentest or responding to a cyber incident for our clients.
Get some concrete applications used by our pentesters!
For CISO, DPO, IT Security, Penetration Tester, Forensic Analysts.
The white paper has been written by Dimitri Diakodimitris, Cyber Security Senior Consultant at Approach.
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