Top 10 Best Open Source Intelligence Tools – OSINT – (Pros and Cons)

Top 10 Best Open Source Intelligence Tools – OSINT – (Pros and Cons). In this post, we have compiled the list of the top 10 OSIT tools to help you make an informed in the field of Cyber Security.

Researching and analysing data or information from different public sources on the internet can be time consuming and hectic. You must scroll through different web pages, look for relevant sources, and research for hours to get your desired information.

But what if you can research within seconds?

You can use open source intelligence tools to analyse and gather information about the specific topic you are looking for. Search engines cannot access over 99% of the internet’s data. But you can use OSINT software to gather public, inaccessible data. 

Therefore, the OSINT tools are directly connected to the different websites and can check for your desired search results. In turn, it saves you time and you get proper information without facing troubles during your research. But finalizing the best OSINT tool can be overwhelming.

In nutshell, the aim of OSINT software is to learn more about someone or a business. 

So, let’s start with Top 10 Best Open Source Intelligence Tools – OSINT – (Pros and Cons).

Top 10 Best Open Source Intelligence Tools

1. Maltego

Developed by Paterva, Maltego is a Java application to help you simplify and expedite your research. Hence, access Maltego databases graphical link analyses and represents the information’s on a node based graph, that is easy to understand.

Also, a great tool for collecting and analysing open source intelligence. Whether you are in health and safety, cybersecurity, or law enforcement, Maltego lets you run one click research. Therefore, you can view up to 1 million entities on a graph and access 58 data sources whilst writing.

Once the information loads in Maltego, you can choose from multiple visualization layouts. The software offers hierarchical, blocks, or circular options, using weights and notes to adjust the graphs.

Hence, Maltego offers a fantastic collection of hand picked resources for different OSINT techniques to achieve maximum output. You can also purchase a Maltego foundations course online for more knowledge and learning.

The price of the software varies depending on the version you select. Another benefit is that it can be used on Windows, IOS, Linux, or a virtual machine.

Pros of Maltego

  • Offers great graph visualization tools.
  • You can access multiple data viz options.
  • Provides search results from publicly facing assets and other open sources.
  • Very visual, ideal for mapping complex networks and relationships.
  • Generates a data map.

Cons of Maltego

  • The scope is only in Java.
  • Dated UI.


Next on our list is SEON. Confirming IDs by checking linked social media and other online platform accounts is becoming increasingly popular. You can manually search your target network by typing a name into Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter.

But it’s easier to use a specialist solution like SEON for scalability. Firstly, it’s a fraud prevention tool that checks over 50 social and online signals. The basis of the checks are an IP address, email address, or phone number.

Because they’re part of the phone data and email enrichment modules, you’ll get more information, including a risk score.

In addition, you also get complete flexibility in how to query the service: manually, via API, or using a Google Chrome extension. Moreover, SEON offers a free 14 day trial and charges $99 per month.

Pros of SEON

  • Real time results.
  • Scalable thanks to API calls.
  • Gather social media information.
  • Additional velocity checks, behaviour checks, device fingerprinting.

Cons of SEON

  • No free version is available.
  • You will have to pay a subscription to access the APIs.

3. Lampyre

Lampyre is a powerful application for due diligence, cyber threat intelligence, financial analytics, and crime analysis. Also, you can install Lampyre on your workstation and run it online to achieve the desired search results. Moreover, Lampyre is an on click application. Therefore, you can start with single data points like company registration number, full name, or phone number. 

The software will shift through large data amounts to extract interesting information using information. Also, Lampyre can process 100+ regularly updated data sources and provides you access using API or PC software.

As with different OSINT tools, you must perform due diligence to check the pen source databases. Similarly, Lampyre may automate searches, but you must double check where the information comes from. Also, check the exact source of information to be thorough with the results.

Generally, Lampyre is affordable as it offers a one month demo license, which then becomes a standard subscription. The company also offers you a yearly version at $300. With SaaS pricing is via the Lighthouse subscription, and is $3.25-$130 per month. 

Pros of Lampyre

  • Gathers data from 100+ sources.
  • Affordable subscription.
  • Importing data from a file in preparation for offline work.
  • Data can be accessed with a single click.

Cons of Lampyre

  • Lighthouse SaaS and Lampyre are not intuitive software to use.

4. Google Dorks

Next on the list of Top 10 Best Open Source Intelligence Tools – OSINT is Google Dorks. Search engines like Google, DuckDuckGo, or Bing are perfectly adequate free OSINT tools. So, with Google Dorks it helps the user target the search or index the results effectively.

How it works, it is like a data querying method. That involves querying for information using advanced search options in Google Search. All in all, it’s about using advanced filters and refining your search to benefit from the indexing power of the search engine. The process of reverse engineer search engines is Google Dorking or Google hacking.

Moreover, it enables you to use search operators or functions to increase the capacity of the Google search engine. But there’s a thin link between whether the process is legal.

During your research, you can find a link to a PDF file containing a list of passwords. Downloading and using it can be a prosecutable offense.

You can use search operators like:

  • Searching for terms on a specific site.
  • Specific file types.
  • Finding RSS feeds related to a term, etc.

Pros of Google Dorks

  • Uses Google syntax to filter search engine data.
  • Requires a lot of trial and error
  • A good entry tool for OSINT beginners.
  • Supported by the vast majority scientific community.

Cons of Google Dorks

  • Privacy issues.
  • Limited to Google search engine.
  • The legality of obtaining documents can cause troubles.

5. Recon-ng

Next tool is Recon-ng. First of all, it has started as a free, open source script to gather technical information about website domains. Now it has evolved into a full framework. You can access the framework via a web application or command line interface on Kali Linux.

Its interface is like Metasploit able (a great computer security project built for penetration testing). The modular approach of the tool holds it’s powers. You can use different modules on the target to extract the desired information within no time. Add the domains to the workspace and use the modules.

Likewise, Recon-ng can assess and identify web vulnerabilities and loads with features like GeoIP lookup, DNS lookup, and port scanning. It’s one of the more technical tools on this list. You’ll find multiple resources online to learn how Recon-ng can help you: 

  • Locates sensitive files like robots.txt.
  • Identifies hidden different subdomains.
  • Looks up for SQL errors.
  • Gets information about a company’s CMS or WHOIS.
  • The framework is free and open source but is limited in the type of information it can return.

Pros of Recon-ng

  • Free and open source.
  • Excellent user interface.
  • Community supplies you with plugins.
  • One of the most popular OSINT utilities, with a strong community.

Cons of Recon-ng

  • Command line interface only.
  • Ideal for only tech savvy individuals.

6. SpiderFoot

SpiderFoot is a professional OSINT tool designed for investigation professionals. It’s preferred by cyber security intelligence experts who perform regular asset discovery or attack surface monitoring.

The tool can access different open data sources and monitor the results in real time. Its usability is the key differentiator from other OSINT tools. You can decide to self host SpiderFoot as a true open source version. Also, you can purchase the hosted version, managed by SpiderFoot.

Therefore, choosing a hosted version can deliver you better performance, full team collaboration, and the ability to see correlations. All the third party tools and modules will come pre installed and pre configured.

SpiderFoot offers a three tiered membership with hosted versions. The Business plan ($249 per month), the Freelancer plan ($79 per month), and the Enterprise plan (Price on request).

Pros of SpiderFoot

  • Ideal for intelligence experts.
  • Affordable plans and open source version.
  • Provides a simple and basic interface.
  • New modules provide more data collection sources.

Cons of SpiderFoot

  • Difficult to learn.

7. Spokeo

Spokeo offers an easy to use interface and more accurate results upon testing. You can use Spokeo as a phone lookup tool, reverse email lookup, and postal address lookup.

The service is available online, and you can also use an Android app to perform searches directly. Access billions of records like property deeds, court records, and historical and social networks.

The OSINT tool is very US centric, so you might have to use another tool for other locations. Hence, Spokeo services can cost you $8–$15 per month, depending on the features.

Pros of Spokeo

  • Offers reverse email or address lookup.
  • Access historical and court records.
  • Great for US based due diligence.
  • Uses billions of sources for an accurate online background check.
  • Easy to use site and mobile app.

Cons of Spokeo

  • Not as free as they claim.
  • Checks are slow.

8. PhoneInfoga

PhoneInfoga is a technical OSINT tool and is ideal for tech savvy individuals. But you’ll be hard pressed to spot a better open source tool for phone numbers.

The tool squeezes great information from a phone number and works for every location worldwide. Unlike with SEON’s tool, you don’t get a reverse social media lookup to understand which networks the user has their phone number registered with.

Pros of PhoneInfoga

  • Worldwide coverage.
  • Free of cost.
  • Uses simple Google syntax to filter search engine data.
  • Provides a good starting point for OSINT beginners.

Cons of PhoneInfoga

  • The learning curve is difficult.

9. Email Hippo

You can access the OSINT tool through Operating since 2009 and recently underwent a complete overhaul, and is now far from free and open.

The solution is split into MORE, CORE, ASSESS, AND WHOIS. It covers use cases like data enrichment for marketing, investigations, and fraud prevention. You can access the free 14 day trial to understand the ins and outs of the OSINT tool.

Pros of Email Hippo

  • You can crop and cut etc.
  • Edit on the go.
  • Its price is very good for the features of this software.
  • Hippo Video has a good variety of functionalities to make screen recordings and marketing videos across email platforms and others.

Cons of Email Hippo

  • Lost its relevance in the OSINT market.
  • Need an offline version to work.

10. Have I Been Pwned?

Last on our guide of Top 10 Best Open Source Intelligence Tools – OSINT is Have I Been Pwned. Well, it is very useful when looking at whether an email address exists. You can even conclude how mature the address is on the basis of the data breach it’s found in.

Have I Been Pwned? is still the top site to search for email addresses and phone numbers that appear in data leaks. The access is completely free.

Pros of Have I Been Pwned

  • Free for manual checks.
  • Can bulk search entire domains.
  • Find all the data breach information.
  • Simple easy to use service.

Cons of Have I Been Pwned

  • Limited to phone and email checks.
  • No easy way to help you change passwords on accounts.

That is it. Thank you for reading Top 10 Best Open Source Intelligence Tools – OSINT. We will summarize. 

Top 10 Best Open Source Intelligence Tools - OSINT - Conclusion

That is our list of tools, if you’ve ever wanted to be online detective. With OSINT- open source intelligence, is the way to start. 

Remember, open source intelligence is a widespread topic. People rely on its techniques to get in depth research results. The OSINT tools can help to minimize the effort and help you achieve your desired results with easiness.

We hope now you have a good primer on the best OSINT tools you can use. Based on the features, pros, cons, price, and requirements, you can filter one and streamline your research on the internet.

Avatar for Hitesh Jethva
Hitesh Jethva

I am a fan of open source technology and have more than 10 years of experience working with Linux and Open Source technologies. I am one of the Linux technical writers for Cloud Infrastructure Services.

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