Length: 2 Days
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Introduction to Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT)

Introduction to Introduction to Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT) is a comprehensive 2-day course that provides the underpinning OSINT knowledge and practical skills necessary to work with intelligence and OSINT analytics.

The participants will learn the theory and practical aspects of OSINT operations, applications and technologies.

Introduction to Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT)

Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) is a method of gathering information from public or other open sources, which can be used by security experts, national intelligence agencies–even cybercriminals.

When used by cyber defenders, the goal is to discover publicly available information related to their organization that could be used by attackers, and take steps to prevent those future attacks.

The term “open source” refers specifically to information that is available for public consumption. If any specialist skills, tools, or techniques are required to access a piece of information, it can’t reasonably be considered open source.

Information is usually considered open source if it comes from these sources:

  • Published or broadcast for a public audience
  • Made available at a meeting open to the public
  • Obtained by visiting any place or attending any event that is open to the public
  • Available to the public by request
  • Available to the public by subscription or purchase
  • Could be seen or heard by any casual observer

OSINT is used by many different organizations, but especially the media, governments, military and cybersecurity professionals. One common use case for OSINT is ethical hacking and penetration testing.

Security professionals use open source intelligence to identify potential weaknesses in friendly networks so that they can be remediated before they are exploited by threat actors.

These weaknesses can include everything from open ports and unpatched software to accidental information leaks and exposed assets.

A big concern to organizations who turn to OSINT is the flipside of the open source process – bad actors who also have access to OSINT.

It’s no secret that threat actors use open source intelligence tools and techniques to identify potential targets and exploit weaknesses in target networks. According to experts in this field, once a vulnerability is identified, it is often an extremely quick and simple process to exploit it and achieve a variety of malicious objectives.

Consequently, open source intelligence is a double-edged sword. OSINT is a prime reason why so many small and medium-sized enterprises get hacked each year. It isn’t because hackers specifically take an interest in them, but rather because vulnerabilities in their network or website architecture are found using simple open source intelligence techniques.

Introduction to Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT) Course by Tonex

Learning Objectives

The objective of this course is to provide participants with a comprehensive understanding of Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT) and its applications in gathering, analyzing, and utilizing publicly available information for intelligence purposes. Participants will learn the fundamental principles, techniques, and tools of OSINT to enhance their investigative and research skills in various domains.

The course outline provided here is a general guideline and can be customized or expanded based on specific learning and training objectives, target audience, and course duration.

Who Should Attend

The “Overview of Open Source Intelligence (OSINT)” training course can be beneficial for a diverse range of professionals and individuals who can benefit from leveraging publicly available information for intelligence purposes. Here are some examples of target audiences for an OSINT training course:

  • Intelligence Professionals: Intelligence analysts, investigators, and intelligence officers from law enforcement agencies, government organizations, and intelligence agencies who need to enhance their skills in gathering and analyzing open source information.
  • Corporate Security and Risk Management Personnel: Security professionals, risk analysts, and corporate investigators responsible for conducting due diligence, background checks, competitive analysis, and risk assessments using open source intelligence.
  • Cybersecurity Professionals: Cybersecurity analysts and incident response teams who require OSINT skills for threat intelligence gathering, monitoring online threats, identifying vulnerabilities, and investigating cyber incidents.
  • Legal Professionals: Lawyers, legal researchers, and paralegals involved in litigation support, intellectual property investigations, and compliance research where open source intelligence plays a crucial role.
  • Journalists and Media Professionals: Journalists, investigative reporters, and media researchers who rely on open sources for fact-checking, source verification, and conducting in-depth investigations.
  • Research and Academic Professionals: Researchers, academics, and students in fields such as international relations, political science, criminology, and social sciences who are interested in utilizing OSINT for research, analysis, and academic studies.
  • Private Investigators and Digital Forensics Experts: Private investigators, digital forensic experts, and fraud examiners who need to gather information from publicly available sources during their investigations.
  • Business and Competitive Intelligence Analysts: Professionals involved in business intelligence, market research, competitive analysis, and brand protection who want to leverage OSINT for monitoring competitors, industry trends, and market insights.
  • Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs): Researchers and professionals working in NGOs involved in human rights, conflict analysis, advocacy, and humanitarian efforts who can utilize OSINT for gathering information and supporting their initiatives.
  • Individual Enthusiasts: Individuals interested in developing their skills in OSINT for personal use, online investigations, online safety, or staying informed about various topics of interest.

The course can be tailored to suit the specific needs and expertise levels of these target audiences to ensure maximum relevance and knowledge transfer.

Course Outline

Module 1: Introduction to Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT)

  • Definition and scope of OSINT
  • Key principles and ethics of OSINT
  • Evolution and importance of OSINT in intelligence gathering
  • Legal and privacy considerations in OSINT

Module 2: Sources and Methods of OSINT

  • Identifying and accessing open sources of information
  • Internet search techniques and advanced search operators
  • Social media platforms and OSINT implications
  • Deep web and dark web exploration

Module 3: Information Collection and Analysis

  • Planning and structuring OSINT investigations
  • Data collection and verification methods
  • Social network analysis (SNA) and link analysis
  • Data visualization and analytical tools for OSINT

Module 4: Advanced OSINT Techniques

  • Geolocation and geospatial analysis
  • Image and video analysis
  • Metadata extraction and analysis
  • OSINT automation and scraping tools

Module 5: OSINT in Cybersecurity and Threat Intelligence

  • Using OSINT for cybersecurity investigations
  • Gathering threat intelligence from open sources
  • Identifying vulnerabilities and potential risks
  • Monitoring and tracking online threats

Module 6: OSINT in Business Intelligence and Competitive Analysis

  • Competitive intelligence and market research using OSINT
  • Tracking industry trends and market insights
  • Brand monitoring and reputation management
  • Intellectual property and patent research

Module 7: OSINT in Law Enforcement and Investigations

  • Role of OSINT in criminal investigations
  • Open source research techniques for law enforcement
  • Digital footprints and online personas
  • Online communities and forums as sources of intelligence

Module 8: OSINT in Counterterrorism and National Security

  • OSINT applications in counterterrorism efforts
  • Monitoring and analyzing extremist content online
  • Identifying and tracking threat actors and networks
  • Open source analysis for situational awareness

Module 9: OSINT Tools and Technologies

  • Introduction to OSINT tools and software
  • Web scraping and data extraction tools
  • Social media monitoring and analytics platforms
  • Open source intelligence platforms and resources

Module 10: Legal and Ethical Considerations in OSINT

  • Privacy laws and regulations
  • Ethical guidelines for OSINT practitioners
  • Responsible use of OSINT in intelligence operations
  • Case studies and best practices in ethical OSINT

Request More Information

Please enter contact information followed by your questions, comments and/or request(s):
  • Please complete the following form and a Tonex Training Specialist will contact you as soon as is possible.

    * Indicates required fields

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Request More Information

  • Please complete the following form and a Tonex Training Specialist will contact you as soon as is possible.

    * Indicates required fields

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.