ACT120 – Introduction to OSINT (Virtual)


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Level 1 - Awareness 


The Introduction to OSINT course is a hands-on and practical module that is designed for those who use the Internet to conduct research or investigations and forms the basis for further training.



You will need 2 Internet enabled devices. The first such as a smartphone, tablet or laptop is in order to view the training presentations and listen to the Instructor.

You can use your own device for this purpose, and an App is available from GoToTraining.

The second device will be used to complete the exercises and work along with the instructor and will need world wide web access enabled. A work laptop will be fine for this purpose, although some websites may not be available via your corporate network.


What you will learn on this course?

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Explain what Open Source material is.
  • Apply basic and advanced Web search techniques.
  • Identify useful open source databases and indexes.
  • Apply appropriate evidence capture methodologies in Internet investigations.
  • State legislation and procedural practices which may influence internet investigations.
  • Apply appropriate safeguards when operating online to protect tactics including anonymisation.
  • Demonstrate the investigative value of digital images.
  • Demonstrate the investigative value of websites.
  • Demonstrate the investigative value of Social Media i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.
  • Describe the Dark Web.


Course Duration

The course consists of 2 sessions of online training. Each session is approx 4 hours long.

The course contains hands on exercises and examples of operational OSINT to reinforce theory taught by our instructors.


Course Contents

Session 1

  1. What is Open Source Material
      • Definition of Open Source Material
      • Risks and benefits
      • Reliability of information
      • Accessing the Internet
  2. Basic and Advanced Searching Techniques
      • Google and other major search engines
      • Advanced search features in search engines
      • Search tools and specialist search engines
      • Filters and managing search results
  3. Open Source resources
      • Locating open source databases
      • Using free services
      • Using paid services
  4. Evidence Capture
      • Why capture?
      • What should we capture?
      • Capture tools and software
      • Dealing with captured material
  5. Legislation and Procedures
      • Legislation effecting Internet investigation
      • Stated cases influencing online investigative tactics
      • Conducting surveillance online
      • Local procedure and policy


Session 2

  1. Anonymisation
      • Why anonymise?
      • Virtual Private Networks
      • Browser based tools
      • Other anonymisation techniques
  2. Investigating Digital Images
      • What is Meta and EXIF data?
      • Examination tools and techniques
      • Extraction websites
      • Removing Meta and EXIF data
      • Introduction to Geolocation
  3. Investigating Websites and Internet Traces
      • Resolving domain names
      • Historic and cached websites
      • Hidden links
      • HTML and other source code
      • Website update alerts
  4. Social Networks and Online False Personas
      • What is a Social Network?
      • Usernames, associations, and other traces
      • Social network advanced search tools and services
      • Planning an Online Investigative Persona
      • Risks associated with social networks
  5. Investigating the Deep and Dark Webs
      • What is the Deep Web?
      • What is the Dark Web and TOR?
      • How does TOR work?
      • Installing TOR
      • Risks of using the deep web in investigations
      • TOR Search tools and techniques