Title: Cyber Intelligence and OSINT: Developing Mitigation Techniques Against Cybercrime Threats on Social Media

Issue Number: Vol. 7, No. 1
Year of Publication: March - 2018
Page Numbers: 87-98
Authors: Abel Yeboah-Ofori, Allan Brimicombe
Journal Name: International Journal of Cyber-Security and Digital Forensics (IJCSDF)
- Hong Kong
DOI:  http://dx.doi.org/10.17781/P002378


Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) involve the collection or processes of gathering data and profiling of publicly available private and public sector information sources about individuals and business intelligence purposes. These sources includes internet and other social media platforms such as Facebook, emails, twitters, what’s apps for. Much debate and research has been done on the threats, vulnerabilities and the impact of the use of social media sites but this study is to minimize bias. Objective: To systematic review and synthesis findings on current empirical research topic on cyber intelligence and open source intelligence profiling to identifying both the threats and vulnerabilities on online social networks for mitigation purposes. Methods: A systematic narrative review of research using rigorous searching on online databases. The results were then subjected to review using a quantitative and quality appraisal tool and a narrative synthesis methodology. A theoretical framework was developed for the synthesis using concepts from the literature ‘The Effectiveness of Neighborhood Watch’. A Campbell Systematic Review Results: The systematic search retrieved 18 original research papers investigating and exploring the effects of online social media technologies on open source intelligence concepts. The use of social media were reported as enhancing social cohesion among peers, improving business opportunities as information gets to customers quickly. Safe identity experimentations, OSINT and cyber intelligence social media gathering is especially vital in the modern war on terror. Understanding terrorist network topologies, crime data analysis and mining, countering improvised explosive devices. The study also highlighted potential negative impacts and threats and the effect of social engineering threats in SNSs, threats of social networking and identity crime. Vulnerabilities of HTTP header information and cookies being sent to third-party aggregators as well harmful effects of exposure to threats. Conclusion: The systematic review has revealed extraordinary evidences and contradictory concepts. It has also revealed the underlining research challenges impacting on open source intelligence. Due to the invincibility nature of social media technologies, social media platforms are constantly being used for social, business and intelligence gathering purposes but to ensure proper and advance mitigating circumstance, further research is required to gain situational awareness and appropriate counter measure.