Essential resources for open source intelligence investigations

Because manually collecting, combing, and integrating available open source information is often time and energy intensive, many open source intelligence practitioners, experts, communities, and companies have developed a variety of tools and frameworks to automate or streamline the data collection and analysis process, or to generate select, attributed intelligence reports and databases.

It is almost certain that for every type of open source intelligence data, there is a tool or website available to you. The Open Source Intelligence Framework demonstrates this.

Open Source Intelligence Framework

As you begin to explore open source intelligence practices in your investigations, you will begin to hear more about the term "open source intelligence framework": It is the most widely available library of tools for open source intelligence information collection and investigation. It organizes resources into 32 categories based on the type of data investigators are looking for: public records, social networks, images, videos, digital currency, dark web, archives, and more. Within each category, you can find free and paid tools for locating problematic data.

Search engines

Some of the most commonly used open source intelligence tools are search engines, as web-based research is a large part of open source intelligence.

Google and Bing are probably the most used search engines, and advanced open source intelligence practitioners know to use an advanced search feature called "Google Dorks" to narrow search results to specific file types, websites, strings, and IP addresses.

However, the search engine does not only have these. Investigators can also use Knowlesys Intelligence System, a professional open source intelligence system, to explore additional results. Founded in May 2003, Knowlesys is a high-tech company that specializes in Internet information processing. It has established rich experience and competitive advantages in the fields of accurate monitoring and vertical mining of mass information on the Internet. Knowlesys Intelligence System can collect information from specified data sources (such as social media, search engines, online databases, dark web), integrate, classify, analyze and display it, and become an internal intelligent information center.