There are hundreds of different websites for OSINT in the world: some of them differ significantly in functionality and search algorithms, others are almost identical and vary only in databases. In all this variability, it is easy to get confused and lose time studying the interface of good for nothing sites. Therefore, we have selected some of the best for you to make your OSINT process easier and faster.
What is OSINT
If you are looking for the best websites for OSINT, you probably know what this acronym stands for. However, just in case, we recall: OSINT stands for Open Source Intelligence and means collecting, analyzing, and sorting data from open and public sources.
Classification of the best OSINT websites
Since there are an unlimited number of these sources on the Internet, the sites also differ depending on the goals and techniques of OSINT.
OSINT websites with a wide range of functions
Some platforms are designed to be used here and now. They provide various information but may leave out some details. However, the following sites are the best to use if you are not sure where to start.
- X-Ray Contact. This service has diverse search channels such as name, social media link, email address and photo. This service can help you crawl through different databases to find the person you are looking for, even if you have little input data to begin with.
- Maltego analyzes information from thousands of open sources simultaneously and displays it in the form of text, charts, and graphs. It can find hidden connections between people, companies, or organizations. However, you need to pay for additional services to get all the information.
- Spiderfoot collects and analyzes information in over 200 modules, including IP addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, names, usernames, BTC addresses, domains, and subdomains.
- Intelligence X archives versions of web pages and leaked data even if they have been deleted. So, this search engine can even find versions of web pages where confidential data was accidentally published and then erased.
Social networks search website
Social networks are the place where people usually post the most information about themselves: date of birth and place of study, photos and videos, ideas, thoughts, and reposts. This info can be useful both for investigating a specific person and for tracking general trends, such as attitudes towards a controversial issue. The following websites can be used for this purpose:
- Checkusernames.com or KnowEm search for a specific username on 500 websites
- One Million Tweet Map collects and aggregates tweets by keyword and displays them on a map.
- Hashatit.com finds content in all social networks by hashtags.
Automated alerts websites
If you need to track a specific issue for months, you want to know when new content comes out. Or even if you need to investigate one person or company, but it takes a long time, it is more convenient to have someone inform you when new information appears. That’s when following auto alert websites can be helpful.
- Google Alerts lets you know if there are new results for your search request. Notifications are sent by email.
- Talkwalker Alerts works on the same principle as Google Alerts but with social media monitoring and a higher level of customization.
- Reputology tracks reviews of public establishments in search engines, blogs, Facebook, and special services and sends a notification with each new publication.
Improved search engines
We are used to Google’s search algorithms, and some of us even know how to use advanced search or certain indexes. However, intelligent people have developed other websites with different search and display algorithms that can be useful in OSINT specifically.
- Carrot² collects information from small clusters and sorts them by topic. In the search engine, you can select the country and language of the search, as well as the clustering algorithm.
- Newslookup.com searches for news from around the world and organizes them by country, topic, and relevance.
- Cluuz shows links, objects, and images related to the request. In addition, the search engine renders tags associated with the request, which significantly expands the pool of relevant information.
Image and video search
Often you have to search for people or places using video and pictures. In another situation, you should check a picture’s authenticity and build connections between them. The following websites are the best for this purpose:
- Tineye finds the sources where the picture was published. It searches all popular search engines and sorts sources by date.
- NooBox works on the same principle as Tineye but also has H5 video control.
- Berify is another reverse image search engine, but it has an alert system. If you register a photo or video, it will notify you when it is published on the Internet.
Specialized search services (codes, associated servers, IoT devices, etc.)
Some websites will be helpful only to experts in a particular field, since the data they provide is unclear to ordinary people. However, these sites can greatly benefit those who understand the topic.
- Searchcode looks not for text but parts of code on various websites or databases. More precisely, users can find anything with a code segment: security flaws, functions, variables, operations, etc.
- Spyse helps you find cybersecurity vulnerabilities by analyzing data on websites, associated servers, and IoT devices. As a result, experts see all the connections and security risks.
These websites may be useful for you to find general or specific information from open sources. You can choose one or more of these sites, depending on the purpose and scope of your investigation.
In fact, we can add a dozen more categories to this classification if we focus on all the differences in the functionality of websites. However, we have taken out only the most important for you.
Moreover, these websites are considered the best among the general public of people involved in OSINT processes more or less regularly. Each of them may have other favorites that are not listed. You may also find a favorite website later, although it is not mentioned here, as the OSINT framework is very broad.