OSINT and WEB monitoring in 2020-2021

Last 2020 year has shown us that online became more important than ever and everything will be digitized that can be digitized. In March due COVID-19(coronavirus), mass migration from analog to digital world began in almost every sector and niche. A lot of business and government processes have changed – especially operating, sales, recruiting, procurement, marketing processes.

Interesting fact, a record wave of cyberattack has been recorded during 2020. Almost every market got cyber threats in different forms: fake news, attacks of bots, leaks of data. The activity of cybercriminals will be only increasing in 2021. At the same time, the likelihood of a new pandemic or crisis has not been canceled. So, OSINT and WEBINT technologies and techniques become more and more important. 

Open sources (information on the WEB) open huge pieces of data about anyone (who left a digital footprint). Non-profit organizations or interested gov agencies can gather intelligence information on a person, group of person or companies (troops) without the cross of regulations of personal information.

OSINT and WEBINT systems are becoming irreplaceable platforms of B2B and B2G sectors in the mobile world, where having information on clients, enemies and competitors is very important for security and planning. 

Also, open-source data allow businesses and governments to detect weak sides of structures, make profiling of employees before hiring, or predicate activities of clients or counterparties. The benefits of using OSINT and social media monitoring software in 2021 are numerous.

Big trend of using OSINT and WEB monitoring tools arises in Digital Forensic

Big support of digital forensic based on OSINT techniques will be expected in 2021 from different industries – including aviation safety(Civil Aviation Accident and Incident Investigations).

OSINT techniques and technology proved significant in the investigation into UIA flight PS752. Digital forensic experts unraveled the mystery of Iran’s plane crash. Bellingcat team leveraged web investigation and social media monitoring for better Digital Forensics and Incident Response in 2020. Bellingcat investigators also worked on the OSINT case related to MH17 in 2014. Combination parsing metadata of images and videos from different sources(Twitter, Instagram, Telegram) and using the flight tracking tools to help approving the concept of the guilt of the militants who are in the occupied territory of Ukraine.

Spectrum system is a standalone OSINT software that provides a complex of different modules that can be used in the digital forensic investigation chain, including:

Also, the OSINT system’s modules have capabilities to support digital forensic process and web monitoring solutions, namely: building graphs of entities and links for simple understanding of anomalies and checking insights, sophisticated algorithms of Natural Language Processing (NLP) in various languages (more than 50 languages), and other AI-enabled OSINT and WEBINT solution.

Posted by

Anton Smirnov

OSINT researcher

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