Open Source Intelligence (OSINT)

OSINT or (Open Source Intelligence) is leveraging the use of open, public, free data sources to gather information. Ex: social media, satellite data, serial numbers, photos…


OSINT isn’t new, and originated back during WW2 when the Foreign Broadcast Monitoring Service (FBMS) was created in order to monitor and report on shortwave propaganda radio. Through several monitoring stations intelligence was gathered.


German Tank Problem

See German Tank problem.

WW2 Bombing Tactics and the price of oranges

In ww2, the Allies would monitor radio programs for the price of oranges. When the price rose, it meant that Allied bombing runs were successful as the flow of citrus was now limited. When the price of oranges went down, it meant it was time to continue bombing campaigns in order to interrupt enemy supply lines.

“…not necessary to sacrifice brave men and women … to ascertain how effectively Allied bombing was …. south of Paris; all that was necessary was to watch through neutral sources the price of oranges at Les Halles. When the lines to Spain were cut, the price went up. When the price went back down again, it was time to bomb out some bridges… "

The Decievers

Estimating Oil Stockpiles w/ Satellite Photos

Orbital Insight used satellite images to better understand oil stockpiles. Oil tanks with floating lids could be monitored to understand how much oil was being saved up.

Founded four years ago, Orbital Insight started with analyzing massive satellite images of oil tanks with floating lids around the world. As a tank is filled, its lid rises, while it is emptied, the lid sinks. The sun casts crescent moon-like shadows on the inside of the tank. By detecting and calculating the changes of those shadows, the company can estimate how much oil storage is in 20,000 tanks it monitors around the world.





Related Notes