In this article we’re going to talk about OSINT verses SOCMINT. This primer will help you learn more about the two intelligence disciplines.
OSINT stands for Open Source Intelligence. OSINT is the collection, analysis, and use of publicly available information. This information is found through a seemingly endless supply of sources. Everything from news, to search engines, to court filings, to certain government databases, to maps, to airplane/boat tracking services, and this is just the digital stuff. In the real world books/periodicals in libraries, observations about buildings and other structures, cars (and their bumper stickers) are in public spaces.
OSINT is used in a variety of industries and fields. You probably engage in it too without realizing. You’ll find OSINT in use in:
- General research
- Law firms
- Information Security
- Healthcare/Public Health
- Law Enforcement
- Business Intelligence
- Political campaigns
Open Source Intelligence also includes social media and that in itself is a subcategory of its own called SOCMINT or social media intelligence.
Social media is comprised of a lot of things like:
- Social networks (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn)
- Video hosting sites (YouTube, Vimeo, etc)
- Social news aggregation (Reddit)
- Blogs and online forums (Medium)
- Review sites (Yelp)
- Social commerce sites (Poshmark)
Things that are analyzed on social media sites/apps include:
- Photos and videos
- Likes, shares
- Dates of published posts
Some tools include:
- Social listening/monitoring platforms: Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, Answer the Public
- Search engines
- Reverse image search
- Link analysis (Maltego)
Just like OSINT, SOCMINT shares the same industries and fields.
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