The Hidden & Visible Elements of OSINT

The Investigative Lens

Investigative thinking requires a specific type of lens. People are naturally prone to bias. Each of us, all humans, fall prey to multiple cognitive biases. These are natural and occur without us being aware. Analytical thinking that rises above bias to trace the causal flow of an incident can be challenging. Validating information, challenging each assumption along the way, and thought to checks and balances go along way. The appropriate lens to use in investigative thinking is one without bias.

The Hidden

The Dark Web is an unconnected collection of private spaces online where communication, sharing, and transactions can often occur in plain sight. Since Google only crawls 4% of the Internet, 96% is out of reach to standard web users. The number of hidden spaces created to facilitate private conversations on the Dark Web has surged. The Tor network, Openbazaar, Zeronet, I2P, Discord, and Telegram are all considered part of the Dark Web.

Since Google only crawls 4% of the Internet, 96% is out of reach to standard web users.

The Visible

The Surface Web only makes up 4% of the Internet, but still holds a wealth of information for security teams. While it is reachable and findable by standard search engines, relying solely on manual processes is time-consuming and requires a security team equipped with highly experienced analysts.

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  • Common cognitive biases of OSINT investigations and how to apply the proper investigative lens.
  • How words, images and underlying data can be used to piece together the elements of a malicious act, and how behavior can be helpful in identifying the motivation behind it.
  • How to distinguish between public and private conversations and how to manually and automatically query the Surface, Deep and Dark Web.
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