Using OSINT for National Security: Social Links Whitepaper
The OSINT landscape never sits still. But with so many developments afoot it’s not always easy to have a clear picture of how, where, and why open-source intelligence is proving itself invaluable. So, we’ve been busy putting together a series of whitepapers to help everyone who’s interested get to grips with it all.
With each study, we focus on how open data is being harnessed within a given sector, and you can already get your hands on our whitepaper covering OSINT and national security. Read on for a full breakdown of what we’ve packed into this publication, and grab your very own PDF copy – it’s totally free!
The Current Climate
We begin with a concise definition of what OSINT actually means, as well as a brief history of how it has developed and expanded into the versatile discipline it is today. This opening section also covers the concept of ‘gray zones’ – an indeterminate space between conflict and peace, and the arena in which national security threats are largely being played out.
Here we discuss two prominent ways in which the internet is being used to wage interstate war today: cyber espionage and cyber sabotage. The former refers to how rival states carry out cyber attacks on their adversaries to gather data for a competitive advantage; the latter refers to DoS attacks aimed at destabilizing critical infrastructures.
Nearly all cyber threats can be boiled down to the exploitation of weaknesses in data security. In this chapter, we look at the major culprits of recent times including: security gaps arising from the Covid-19 pandemic, human error, ransomware, Internet-of-Things (IoT) vulnerabilities, and zero-day threats.
The Misuse of Social Media
The immense rise of social media has led to the adoption of networking platforms for various disruptive, anti-social purposes. From extremist recruitment and organization to online fraud and misinformation, we outline a range of dangerous implications social media has for the maintenance of social, political, and economic security.
The Digital Underground
Under the cover of anonymity, threat actors and anti-social groups can find room to breathe, and even thrive. In their capacity to provide widespread masking for their users, the Dark Web and cryptocurrencies have become the instruments of major security threats such as organized crime and terrorism. We look into these issues in this section.
OSINT Solutions for National Security
This is where we really expand upon the various and significant ways in which OSINT tools and techniques have become instrumental in countering the various we have laid out. Devoting our expertise and experience to the particular investigation areas concerning intelligence bureaus and security officers, we discuss an array of relevant topics including:
- Digital Footprinting
- Subject Monitoring and Incident Response
- Decentralized Group Detection
- Dark Web Investigations
- Blockchain Analysis and Anti-Money Laundering
- Misinformation Counter-Measures
- Threat Intelligence
- National Cyber Resilience and Intelligence
- Critical Infrastructure Security
- Sentiment Analysis and Riot Control
- Disaster Control
- Covert Investigation
For anyone curious about the role of OSINT in maintaining a safe and secure social environment, this whitepaper is a must-read. Like future publications in this series, the study is totally free and can be downloaded by following the link below.