OSINT stands for Open Source Intelligence. It refers to the practice of gathering data available from public sources.
OSINT helps businesses gain insights into the collected data by transforming them into actionable intelligence. The data is retrieved from vast sources and could be about an individual or an organization.
Businesses look for the OSINT tools that fit best for their operational goals and agendas.
Here, we will discuss the top OSINT tools of 2021 and their key features for businesses.
Here are Top 14 OSINT Tools as of 2021:
OSINT Framework is a cybersecurity framework that collects data from free tools and resources. It is a website application to discover data and browse different OSINT tools.
It was originally created to focus on IT security but now helps businesses find free OSINT resources.
Key Features of OSINT Framework:
- OSINT Framework is a simple web-based platform used by security researchers and testers for digital footprints or intelligence gathering.
- It categorizes intel sources and is classified according to topics and goals.
- It provides multiple approaches to gather data of any particular target.
- The tools and websites it uses while querying information are mostly free or available at a low cost.
- The tool has evolved over time and helps collect information from multiple industries.
theHarvester is a program that collects emails, subdomains, hosts, employee names, etc. It is an OSINT tool used best for preliminary surveys or research.
It is a tool that helps penetration testers to recognize customers’ internet footprints. It also helps with the cybersecurity of the organization by determining external threats.
It collects data from multiple sources like search engines, PGP key servers, and SHODAN.
Key Features of theHarvester:
- It is an effective tool used in the early stages of penetration tests.
- theHarvester is also pre-installed in Kali Linux.
- It has the ability to set time delays between web server requests.
- It allows to export XML reports and search a domain in all supported sources.
- It also helps verify virtual hosts while gathering information.
You are maybe well aware of Google and its functions as a search engine. Similarly, SHODAN is also a search engine but used mainly for IoT devices.
Did you know there are 13.8 billion connected devices that are estimated to reach around 30 billion active users by 2021?
With the number of increasing users, IoT faces challenges like security awareness. Businesses find it important to ledger their many endpoints and their vulnerabilities.
This is where SHODAN steps in as a solution. It is an online tool to discover connected devices and their end-users.
SHODAN works with multiple connected devices like servers, webcams, traffic lights, security cameras, control systems, etc. Cybersecurity esports and governments use this OSINT tool to enhance vulnerability assessment and penetration testing.
Key Features of SHODAN:
- It is used to discover IoT devices, their locations, and the primary users.
- It helps monitor network security by keeping track of all the devices connected to a specific network.
- There is a competitive advantage with SHODAN as it helps run empirical market intelligence.
- With servers located worldwide, they crawl the internet 24/7 and provide the latest Intelligence.
- It enables integration with other tools.
Searchcode is a free source code search engine. It works similar to a search engine, but instead of indexing websites, it looks for source codes and documentation that run the app.
Developers can search for functions, operations, security flaws, etc. to identify issues while developing an app. It looks for a line of code from websites like GitHub, Bitbucket, Google Code, etc.
Key Features of Searchcode:
- Developers can search using special characters.
- It allows filtering codes for different languages or repositories.
- Search results help identity usernames or vulnerabilities in a code.
- It is a free web-based code search engine.
Nmap stands for Network Mapper. It is a free OSINT tool best used to scan vulnerabilities and discover networks.
Gordon Lyon the author of Nmap created it to map networks and help admins recognize devices connected to the servers. It monitors open ports and identifies security risks without involving external commands or configuration processes.
Key Features of Nmap
- It is a versatile combination of network mapping and security auditing.
- It is a flexible tool that helps gather information.
- It features better support for IPv6 which allows parallel reverse-DNS (domain name system) and more NSE script coverage.
- It is supported by multiples operating systems like Linux, Microsoft Windows, IRIX, Mac OS, etc
SpiderFoot is one of the top OSINT tools. Steve Micallef the author of SpiderFoot wanted to automate the OSINT process.
It automatically collects data from over 100 sources for individuals, networks, or organizations. Once the tool is installed, it can operate major scans and automatically search for information.
Key Features of SpiderFoot:
- Once registered it requires no installation or additional setup.
- It runs on Linux and Windows operating systems or also on a cloud version.
- It is well written in terms of code which allows users to discover, read and understand its features better.
- Users can only specify targets and choose from 100+ modules that help SpiderFoot collect data and build the profile.
- The source code is available for free for anyone to contribute and make it better.
Exiftool is a customizable platform-independent Perl library. It is a fully-featured command-line application that reads, writes, and edits meta information.
The tool was created by Phil Harvey in 2003. It was created with the agenda to manipulate the image, audio, video, and PDF metadata.
Key Features of ExifTool:
- It is available as a stand-alone on Windows executable and Mac OS.
- It reads, writes, edits, and manipulates images, audios, videos, and PDF metadata.
- It can be easily run by typing commands in a terminal window.
- Files are easily available to other Perl script users.
Metagoofil is a top OSINT tool that helps collect information. Developed by Cristian Martorella, cofounder of Edge Security it is used to extract metadata from public files.
The tool supports various files like pdfs, doc, xls and ppts. The files are downloaded to the local drive and extract metadata from the target.
Key Features of Metagoofil:
- It searches and extracts data from local files or files located on a webpage.
- It enables to recognize path information that helps map networks.
- It can also gather MAC addresses from various documents.
- Its repository is located on the GitHub website which can be easily cloned and installed.
Aircrack-ng is the complete suite for testing wireless networks. It was developed primarily to run on Linux.
It is a full CLI tool which means it is easily customizable according to requirements.
Key Features of Aircrack-ng
- It analyzes WiFi networks for weaknesses which help monitor the security.
- It is the best OSINT tool to crack WEP and WPA-PSK in Windows.
- It is created to uncover wireless passwords.
- It monitors and conducts pen-testing on wireless networks only.
Censys.io is a site that allows researchers to gather information on hosts and networks. It scans the internet for devices and collects reports on configured and deployed resources.
Key Features of Censys:
- It provides total visibility of an attacker’s surface by tracking exposed assets.
- It provides reliable, fresh, and highly indexed Internet-wide scan data to identify threats and understand threat actors.
- It monitors and secures remote workforce by scanning employees’ home networks for exposures and vulnerabilities.
Google Dorks is not exactly a tool but it is a data querying technique. It involves querying information using advanced search arguments in Google Search.
Data such as admin login pages, bank account details, email lists, sensitive documents, etc. are gathered through advanced operators in the search engine. The usage of these advanced operators is called “Dorking”.
Key Features of Google Dorks
- Google Dorks are made available to multiple Open Source Network Intelligence Tools (OSNITS) and search engines.
- It can be used for network mapping as subdomains are found through Simple Dorks.
- It allows users to dig deep into a server’s annals and gather data corresponding to different arguments.
- It is a powerful OSINT tool that can gather sensitive information.
ZoomEye is a Chinese IoT OSINT search engine. It enables users to gather public data through exposed devices and web services.
It uses Wmap and Zmap to fetch out connected devices.
Key Features of ZoomEye:
- ZoomEye mostly helps to detect open devices that are susceptible to vulnerabilities.
- It presents information in a curated and filtered form that users can view easily.
- It detects information about open Ports on remote servers.
- It offers an interactive map of users with various devices and vulnerability reports.
Maltego is an OSINT tool that collects information and then brings it together in a graphical correlation analysis. It runs on Linux, Windows, and macOS to gather information on individuals and organizations.
It allows a number of Transforms from different data integration platforms.
Key Features of Maltego:
- It is a tool that analyzes, gathers, and connects information for investigative tasks.
- It easily collects information from various public sources.
- It automatically links and combines information in a graph through an intuitive user interface.
- It runs data queries and discovers relationships between sources through link analysis.
BuiltWith is mainly used to learn how various websites use specific technologies. It includes in-depth information about CMS like WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, etc.
BuiltWith is a top OSINT tool that collects technical information about websites.
Key Features of BuiltWith:
- It is a comprehensive investigative tool to discover all the technology used to build the website.
- It enables users to uncover security vulnerabilities and exploits related to the technology and operating system.
- It helps reduce vendor risk management and technical due diligence by analyzing vulnerabilities in OSINT Tools.
- It helps gain competitor intelligence for businesses with multiple websites.
These are the best OSINT Tools of 2021 available in the market. As seen, these tools not only gather information but also secure businesses from vulnerabilities.
Top OSINT tools have helped businesses collect crucial information. OSINT tools are used openly to track the digital footprints of an individual or organization.
You May Also like to Read:
Top 5 Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) Challenges
Top 10 Examples of Data Lineage
Open Source Data Lineage Tools for Data Management
How to Protect your Public Data with Open Source Intelligence