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How Michael Bazzell's Book Can Help You Master Open Source Intelligence Techniques

Open Source Intelligence Techniques: A Review of Michael Bazzell's Book

If you are interested in learning how to find and analyze online information for various purposes, such as personal security, background checks, investigations, or research, you might want to check out Open Source Intelligence Techniques, a book by Michael Bazzell. In this article, we will review the book and its contents, as well as provide some alternative sources of open source intelligence (OSINT) for further learning.



What is Open Source Intelligence (OSINT)?

Definition and examples of OSINT

OSINT is a term that refers to any information that can be obtained from publicly available sources, such as websites, social media, databases, documents, images, videos, podcasts, etc. OSINT does not require any special access or authorization to collect or use. However, OSINT does require certain skills and tools to find, filter, verify, analyze, and present the information in a useful way.

Some examples of OSINT are:

  • Finding personal information about someone online, such as their name, address, phone number, email address, username, social media profiles, etc.

  • Searching for public records or documents related to a person or an organization, such as court cases, property records, business registrations, licenses, etc.

  • Locating geospatial information or mapping data online, such as satellite images, street views, coordinates, addresses, etc.

  • Identifying the ownership and history of a domain name or an IP address online, such as who registered it, when it was created or updated, where it is hosted, etc.

  • Extracting metadata from online files or images, such as when they were created or modified, what software or device was used to create them, where they were taken or uploaded from, etc.

  • Monitoring online news sources or social media platforms for trends or events related to a topic or a region of interest.

Benefits and challenges of OSINT

OSINT has many benefits for various users and applications. Some of them are:

  • OSINT is free or low-cost to obtain and use. You do not need to pay for expensive subscriptions or licenses to access most online sources.

  • OSINT is abundant and diverse. You can find information on almost any topic or subject online from multiple sources and perspectives.

  • OSINT is timely and dynamic. You can access up-to-date information online as soon as it is published or updated by the source.

  • OSINT is flexible and adaptable. You can customize your OSINT methods and tools according to your needs and preferences.

However, OSINT also has some challenges that need to be addressed. Some of them are:

  • OSINT can be overwhelming and noisy. You might encounter too much information online that is irrelevant or redundant for your purpose.

  • OSINT can be inaccurate or unreliable. You might encounter false or misleading information online that is intentionally or unintentionally created or spread by the source.

  • OSINT can be incomplete or outdated. You might encounter missing or outdated information online that is not updated or maintained by the source.

  • OSINT can be unethical or illegal. You might encounter sensitive or private information online that is not intended for public access or use by the source.

Who is Michael Bazzell?

Background and expertise of the author

Michael Bazzell is a former FBI agent who specialized in cybercrime investigations and computer forensics. He has over 20 years of experience in conducting OSINT for various law enforcement agencies and private clients. He has also trained thousands of people from different sectors and backgrounds on how to use OSINT effectively and ethically.

Besides being an author, Bazzell is also a podcaster, a consultant, a trainer, and a speaker on OSINT topics. He runs several websites that provide OSINT tools and resources for anyone who wants to learn more about OSINT.

Other books and resources by the author

Bazzell has written several other books on OSINT besides Open Source Intelligence Techniques. Some of them are:

  • Hiding from the Internet: Eliminating Personal Online Information, which teaches how to protect your privacy and security online by removing your personal information from various online sources.

  • The Complete Privacy & Security Desk Reference: Volume I: Digital, which teaches how to secure your devices and accounts online by using encryption, anonymity, and other techniques.

  • The Complete Privacy & Security Desk Reference: Volume II: Physical, which teaches how to secure your physical environment and assets by using locks, cameras, and other devices.

Bazzell also hosts two podcasts on OSINT topics:

  • The Privacy Security & OSINT Show, which covers news tips and techniques on how to protect your privacy security and OSINT skills online.

  • The OSINT Podcast, which features interviews with experts practitioners and researchers on various aspects of OSINT.

What is the book about?

Overview and structure of the book

Open Source Intelligence Techniques is a book that aims to teach you how to find and analyze online information using various OSINT methods tools and resources. The book is written in a hands-on style that encourages you to execute the tutorials as you go along. The book also provides hundreds of screenshots examples and references to help you understand and apply the concepts better.

The book has 31 chapters that cover different topics related to OSINT such as:

  • Preparing your computer for OSINT work such as installing a Linux virtual machine a web browser and other software applications.

  • Using search engines effectively such as Google Bing DuckDuckGo and others to find relevant information online.

  • Finding information on social networks such as Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn YouTube and others using various techniques such as advanced search operators APIs and third-party tools.

  • Finding information on online communities such as forums blogs news sites podcasts and others using various techniques such as RSS feeds scraping tools and web archives.

  • Finding email addresses, usernames, phone numbers, people search engines, online maps, documents, photographs, videos, domain names, IP addresses, government records, and other types of information online using various techniques and tools.

  • Using software applications and APIs for OSINT work, such as Recon-ng, Maltego, Spiderfoot, Shodan, Have I Been Pwned?, and others.

  • Using Android emulation for OSINT work, such as running Android apps on your computer using tools like Genymotion or Nox Player.

  • Using radio frequency monitoring for OSINT work, such as listening to radio signals using tools like RTL-SDR or HackRF One.

  • Using OSINT workflow processes, such as planning, collecting, analyzing, reporting, and documenting your OSINT findings using tools like Buscador, Hunchly, or CaseFile.

Key features and highlights of the book

The book has several features and highlights that make it stand out from other books on OSINT. Key features and highlights of the book

The book has several features and highlights that make it stand out from other books on OSINT. Some of them are:

  • The book is updated regularly to keep up with the changes and developments in the online world. The latest edition of the book (8th edition) was published in 2021 and contains over 650 pages throughout 31 chapters.

  • The book is comprehensive and covers a wide range of OSINT topics and techniques. The book provides over 250 resources and tools for finding and analyzing online information, as well as detailed tutorials and examples for each resource and tool.

  • The book is practical and hands-on. The book encourages you to try out the techniques and tools as you read along, and provides downloadable files and links to help you set up your own OSINT environment.

  • The book is ethical and responsible. The book emphasizes the importance of respecting the privacy and security of others online, and provides guidance on how to conduct OSINT in a legal and ethical manner.

How to use the book?

Requirements and recommendations for using the book

To use the book effectively, you will need some basic requirements and recommendations, such as:

  • A computer with a reliable internet connection. You will need to access various online sources and tools for OSINT work, as well as download some files and software applications.

  • A Linux virtual machine. You will need to install a Linux operating system on your computer using a virtualization software, such as VirtualBox or VMware. The book recommends using Buscador Linux, a custom OSINT virtual machine created by the author.

  • A web browser with extensions. You will need to use a web browser, such as Firefox or Chrome, with some extensions or add-ons that enhance your OSINT capabilities, such as uBlock Origin, User-Agent Switcher, FoxyProxy, etc.

  • A willingness to learn and experiment. You will need to have an open mind and a curious attitude to explore the online world using OSINT techniques and tools.

Tips and tricks for applying the book's techniques

Here are some tips and tricks for applying the book's techniques effectively:

  • Start with the basics. Before diving into the advanced techniques and tools, make sure you understand the fundamentals of OSINT, such as how to use search engines, how to find information on social networks, how to verify information online, etc.

  • Follow the tutorials. The book provides step-by-step instructions and screenshots for each technique and tool. Try to follow them as closely as possible and replicate the results on your own.

  • Practice regularly. The best way to improve your OSINT skills is to practice them regularly on different topics and scenarios. You can use the book's examples as a starting point or find your own cases to work on.

  • Keep learning. The online world is constantly changing and evolving. You need to keep yourself updated on the latest trends and developments in OSINT by reading blogs newsletters podcasts and other sources of information.

What are some alternative sources of OSINT?

Other books and websites on OSINT

If you want to learn more about OSINT from other books and websites here are some suggestions:

  • The Tao of Open Source Intelligence, by Stewart K. Bertram a book that provides a strategic approach to OSINT focusing on the principles processes and practices of OSINT.

  • Open Source Intelligence Methods and Tools, by Nihad A. Hassan and Rami Hijazi a book that provides a practical guide to OSINT focusing on the methods tools and techniques of OSINT.

  • Bellingcat, a website that conducts investigative journalism using OSINT focusing on topics such as conflict crime and human rights.

  • OSINT Framework, a website that provides a collection of OSINT resources tools and links organized by categories.

Online courses and podcasts on OSINT

If you want to learn more about OSINT from online courses and podcasts here are some suggestions:

  • OSINT for Hackers, an online course by John Hammond that teaches how to use OSINT for ethical hacking penetration testing and bug bounty hunting.

  • OSINT Fundamentals, an online course by Jake Creps that teaches how to use OSINT for personal security background checks investigations and research.

  • The Social-Engineer Podcast, a podcast that covers topics related to social engineering OSINT psychology and security awareness.

  • The Many Hats Club, a podcast that features interviews with experts practitioners and researchers on various topics related to cybersecurity OSINT and hacking.

Conclusion and FAQs

In conclusion, Open Source Intelligence Techniques is a great book for anyone who wants to learn how to find and analyze online information using various OSINT methods, tools, and resources. The book is comprehensive, practical, ethical, and up-to-date. It provides over 250 resources, tools, and tutorials for conducting effective, efficient, and responsible OSINT work. Whether you are a beginner or an expert in OSINT, you will find something useful, interesting, and valuable in this book.

Here are some FAQs about the book:

  • Where can I buy the book?

You can buy the book from Amazon or directly from the author's website at

  • How much does the book cost?

The book costs $49.95 USD for the paperback version or $9.99 USD for the Kindle version.

  • What is the difference between the 8th edition and the previous editions?

The 8th edition is completely rewritten from scratch to reflect the changes and developments in the online world since 2019. It includes new online and offline search tools; a new Linux OSINT virtual machine; new search methods for Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and others; an entire section on methodology, workflow, documentation, and ethics; and many other updates and improvements.

  • Do I need any prior knowledge or experience in OSINT to use the book?

No, you do not need any prior knowledge or experience in OSINT to use the book. The book is written for beginners as well as experts in OSINT. However, you will need some basic computer skills, such as installing software applications, using web browsers, etc.

  • Can I contact the author if I have any questions or feedback about the book?

Yes, you can contact the author via email at or via Twitter at @IntelTechniques.

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