In today’s digital age, information has become more accessible than ever before. Open-source intelligence (OSINT) has emerged as a potent tool for gathering and analyzing this vast wealth of publicly available data.
OSINT specialists are key players in discovering hidden patterns, identifying potential threats, and uncovering critical insights.
In this article, we will explore the fascinating world of OSINT and delve into how experts in the field can apply Occam’s Razor and intuition to enhance their investigations!
Open-source intelligence refers to the collection and analysis of information that is publicly accessible, such as social media posts, news articles, public records, and more. It provides valuable insights for various applications, including corporate intelligence, cybersecurity, law enforcement, and academic research.
Leveraging OSINT allows specialists to uncover connections, identify trends, and reveal crucial information that would otherwise remain hidden.
I can recommend that you turn to an interesting subculture that is suitable for introverts! I am sure that everyone is interested in various strange phenomena in one way or another. Immerse yourself in a net-stalking environment!
Sometimes ordinary people were able to solve crimes which the police could not solve for years with OSINT and GEOINT alone (I could put in here links to subreddits, movies and news but since you and I are now doing OSINT I advise you to find it on your own).
The main thing to remember is your health, it is above all, do not let your principles be shaken by what you see. You are an observer! Here well helps to understand the psychology of SCP researchers (when nothing is clear, but the scientific method helps to put everything in its place).
Keep in mind that in this part of the Global Internet (I mean OSINT in general, not only the Net-stalking), the percentage of people who are actively looking for problems or need to express their emotions is no different from other places!
Occam’s Razor, a principle attributed to the 14th-century philosopher William of Ockham, suggests that the simplest explanation should be favored when faced with multiple competing hypotheses. OSINT specialists can apply this razor to their investigations by consistently seeking the simplest and most straightforward explanation for the observed data or behavior.
By embracing Occam’s Razor, OSINT experts can avoid unnecessarily complex theories or assumptions that might muddy their analysis. Instead, they focus on the most likely and logical explanation based on the available evidence. This approach helps to streamline the investigative process, eliminate unnecessary noise, and achieve more accurate and efficient results.
Also, follow OpSec rules and don’t make too many mistakes. Conduct your activities from a separate, isolated device.
There are no perfect practitioners-analysts, everyone makes mistakes and gets into difficult ambiguous situations (at least once in their life), all the more in conditions of acutely intensive and chronic work overload. And it is absolutely necessary for a practitioner-analyst to know and understand such situations.
Cognitive vulnerabilities (in the established understanding) are exposures and/or tendencies to defects in thinking: significant cognitive distortions, erroneous beliefs, cognitive biases (biases), or stereotyped patterns of thinking that create the basis for a person’s predisposition to cognitive failures and lead to distortions and dysfunctions of thought processes.
Intuition, often referred to as a “gut feeling,” plays a vital role in any investigative work, including OSINT operations. Although intuition is challenging to define or measure, experienced OSINT specialists use it as an additional sense that guides their decision-making process. Intuition helps experts notice subtle patterns or inconsistencies in data that might otherwise be overlooked.
Most of us experience ‘gut feelings’ we can’t explain, such as instantly loving (or hating) a new property when we’re househunting or the snap judgments we make on meeting new people. Now researchers say these feelings (or intuitions) — are real and we should take our hunches seriously.
Intuition allows OSINT specialists to make connections between disparate data points and go beyond the surface level. It grants them the ability to infer meaningful insights where others may see mere coincidence. While intuition alone cannot be relied upon, it acts as a valuable complementary tool that enhances the effectiveness of OSINT investigations.
Don’t limit yourself to one approach; don’t be afraid to try experiments, but keep in mind that the outcomes of such approaches should always be double-checked. They serve more as learning tools than as actual advice for investigators. Visit the following websites:
Integrating Occam’s Razor and intuition into OSINT practices can significantly improve the quality and efficiency of investigations. By employing Occam’s Razor, experts can eliminate superfluous assumptions, theories, or data that may lead to unnecessary complexity. This approach helps OSINT specialists stay focused and uncover the most plausible explanations for the observed data.
Additionally, practicing intuition allows OSINT specialists to develop a sixth sense for identifying relevant information and patterns that might elude others. By combining logical reasoning with intuitive insights, OSINT practitioners can enhance their ability to uncover hidden connections, potential threats, and critical insights.
According to wondersmith_rae: In classical rhetoric, the “elements of circumstance” created by Aristotle have been used to analyze rhetorical questions for ages. They also apply to modern-day analysis and can be used as a foundation for an investigation. (Who, what, when, where, why, in what way, by what means)
A condensed yet equally valuable version of the elements is called the “5W’s and an H” or Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How. These questions have been used in rhetoric, religious study, police investigations, journalism, and by lawyers since ancient Greece. It is said that an investigation can not be truly complete until all of the Ws and the H can be answered.
Applying the same elements to our OSINT investigations we can ask and answer similar questions. By answering the 5W’s a narrative begins to emerge from our collected data. It is now up to us as analysts to connect the dots in a succinct way. The catch is, that anyone who has done research knows that when information starts to be uncovered it is easy to get stuck in a rabbit hole.
Once you can distinguish the information, sort it out then the next thing you can do is start practicing. As you know, good practice requires good motivation! You only need to know one thing: people think that intelligence is fixed — but it isn’t. Your brain is like a muscle; the more you use it, the more it grows. Education is no longer a one-time event, but a lifelong experience.
Recent surveys show that over 97% of businesses store data in the Cloud. Learn how to identify potential sources of Cloud data, issue discovery requests, and implement litigation holds, as well as how to preserve, collect, filter, review, and produce Cloud data.
Information relevant to your case is on the Internet, usually hiding in plain sight. Business records, domain name registrations, websites, online user identities, social media posts, photos, and videos are only a search query away. Do you know how to find it? Learn how open source information can impact a broad range of matters and how to effectively identify sources of information and search for open source data.
Carefully study these resources and come back to them as you journey through the world of the hornets, don’t forget the roots. This article does not answer questions, but rather raises some rhetorical questions to encourage you to think about something!
In recent years, public interest in open-source intelligence gathering and analysis has increased exponentially. As this interest has grown, more and more OSINT investigations have been relying on tools and automation, leaving the analysis process behind. You should consider OSINT a thought process.
The “OSINT state of mind” is key for keeping track of your investigative steps, picking the right tools and sources, analyzing the data, and reporting to generate actionable intelligence!
Some will enjoy analyzing images, satellite images, calculating time and place from the angle of shadows from a photo, or measuring mountain peak size in order to perform private detective investigations. Or, let’s say, doing OSINT in crypto, for example, in which case your motivation will be money and self-fulfillment… Or searching for rare stories even!
I’ll highlight some basic advice for you — evaluate information according to different criteria, always know your “base settings” — it’s good for the mental health, the things you find shouldn’t ruin your foundations! Practice it, do it in your daily life, apply OSINT where it seems un-obvious like mentioned below:
Open-source intelligence has revolutionized the way information is gathered and analyzed in the modern world. OSINT specialists, armed with Occam’s Razor and intuition, stand at the forefront of this evolving field.
By embracing simplicity and relying on their intuitive faculties, these experts can effectively navigate the vast information landscape, uncover the truth, and provide valuable insights to various domains like cybersecurity, corporate intelligence, and beyond. As the field of OSINT continues to evolve, the power of Occam’s Razor and intuition in investigative work will only become more pronounced.
Open Source Intelligence serves as a powerful tool in today’s information-driven world. Its ability to uncover valuable insights, identify potential threats, and inform decision-making processes makes OSINT an indispensable component of many industries and sectors.
Understanding the value of your organisation’s information, potential attack vectors, and who might be targeted in phishing attacks or other types of social engineering is essential. OSINT can aid you in assessing these risks and planning appropriate defences!
By following best practices, employing advanced methodologies, and staying abreast of emerging technologies, OSINT specialists hold the key to unlocking unprecedented opportunities in the realm of information gathering and analysis. As we move forward, the evolving landscapes of technology, privacy, and collaboration will shape the future of OSINT, reminding us of the critical role it plays in our interconnected world!
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