By Kim Miller, Ph.D., CFE
Faculty Member, Criminal Justice, American Military University
Open source intelligence (OSINT) is information that comes from publicly available sources. This type of information can be exploited, collected and disseminated to any audience.
For investigators or other individuals who need to collect background material on an individual, OSINT is highly useful. According to Michael Bazzell, a former FBI computer crime investigator and the author of several books on security, OSINT can be used to locate people or to conduct background checks or any online investigation.
Many Names and Addresses Publicly Available Online
Websites such as Spoke.com, Radaris.com, and Intelius.com allow users to search an individual’s name and address for free. These sites allow investigators to more easily use the information found on these sites to conduct background checks on potential employees, but are also used by criminals to find information for identity theft.