Top 10 open-source intelligence platforms for amateur spies

Cyber Magazine looks at some of the websites, apps and code that allow regular web users to investigate bugs and hacks using open-source intelligence

Open-source intelligence (OSINT) has become an increasingly valuable tool for organisations, businesses, and individuals like us who want to know what's happening. 

With the vast amount of online information, knowing where to start and how to make sense of it all can be difficult. OSINT provides a way to collect and analyse publicly available data, which can then be used to make informed decisions or satisfy your curiosity.

Below we look at 10 of the leading open-source OSINT sites, services, and code - including search engines and data visualisation tools - that are available to us all. To clarify, we're not responsible for anything that can be done on these sites. Be careful out there.


10. DorkSearch

DorkSearch specialises in helping users find vulnerable websites and sensitive information through Google dorks. It's designed to be user-friendly, making it an excellent option for individuals just starting with open-source intelligence gathering. Users can search for various types of information, including SQL injection vulnerabilities, sensitive files, and even login credentials. DorkSearch also provides a database of pre-written Google dorks, so even those unfamiliar with creating them can still benefit from the service. In addition, users can also save their dorks and access them later, making it easy to keep track of their searches.

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9. theHarvester​​​​​​​

theHarvester is designed to help security professionals, researchers, and others gather information about their targets. Developed in the United States, theHarvester makes it easy for users to collect data from various sources, including search engines, social media platforms, and more. theHarvester provides a robust set of features that allow you to gather information quickly and easily. With theHarvester, you can easily collect information such as email addresses, IP addresses, and subdomains.

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8. Grep.app

Grep.app provides users with a simple and effective way to gather information from various sources. Grep.app offers a user-friendly interface that makes it easy for users to quickly and easily gather the information they need. It also provides a comprehensive set of features that allow you to collect information from various sources, such as social media platforms, and news websites.

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7. Spokeo

Spokeo is a people intelligence service that helps you search, connect, and know who you are dealing with. You can use it to find old friends, identify unknown callers, or research your date. Professionals use it to find new customers or to prevent fraud. Knowledge is a quick search away. The company organises over 12 billion records from thousands of data sources into easy-to-understand reports that include available contact info, location history, photos, social media accounts, family members, court records, work information,

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6. Intelligence X

Intelligence X provides users access to a wealth of information from various sources. Based in Switzerland, Intelligence X offers a user-friendly interface that makes it easy to gather, analyse, and visualise data about your target. Intelligence X provides a comprehensive set of features that allow you to collect information from social media platforms, news websites, and more.

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5. Mitaka

Mitaka is a web-based open-source intelligence (OSINT) platform that helps users collect and analyse data from various sources. Designed to be user-friendly and accessible, Mitaka provides a simple and intuitive interface that makes it easy to gather information and insights about your target. Mitaka leverages the latest technology to help you gather information from sources such as social media platforms, news websites, and more. With Mitaka, you can quickly collect, visualise, and analyse data to understand your target. Mitaka's flexible architecture allows you to customise the platform to meet your specific needs, making it the ideal solution for a wide range of OSINT tasks.

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4. Recon-ng

Recon-ng is an open-source reconnaissance framework that helps you gather information about targets in an organised and efficient manner. Designed to be easy to use and flexible, Recon-ng makes it simple to automate various reconnaissance tasks and collect data from multiple sources. Recon-ng has several built-in modules that make it easy to gather data from sources such as social media platforms, WHOIS databases, and more. Additionally, its modular design allows you to add custom modules and tailor the tool to meet your needs.

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3. SpiderFoot

SpiderFoot helps users gather information about target systems, IP addresses, domains, and more. Whether you're a security professional, a threat intelligence analyst, or someone who wants to know more about a particular target, SpiderFoot can help. SpiderFoot automates many tedious and time-consuming data collection tasks, allowing you to focus on what matters: analysing and making sense of the information you've gathered. It can be customised to suit your specific needs, with various modules available for different types of data collection.

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2. Maltego

Maltego is an open-source intelligence tool that provides a unique way to visualise and analyse data. It's designed to help you make sense of complex relationships between entities and to give you a deeper understanding of the information you're looking at. With its advanced visualisation capabilities, Maltego provides a powerful way to analyse information and uncover insights that might otherwise remain hidden.

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1. Shodan

Shodan is a search engine that's like no other. It helps you discover the devices connected to the Internet, such as webcams, routers, servers and much more. You can search for these devices using various filters, making it easy to find exactly what you're looking for. Founded in 2009 by programmer John Matherly, Shodan is unique in that it searches for service banners, which are metadata the server sends back to the client. This metadata can include information about the server software, what options the service supports, and any other information the client can find out before interacting with the server.

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