The Social Links OSINT Glossary

Every specialism has its jargon, and the OSINT sphere is no exception. The problem is that tech terms often appear overly geeky, needlessly putting people off. But the truth is that, while lingos may sound complex, they often aren’t, and just need a down-to-earth explanation.

And that’s what we hope to achieve with this OSINT glossary. By bringing together all the terms, phrases, slang, etc, that tend to confuse or scare off the uninitiated and explaining them in straightforward, non-techy manner, we want to make the OSINT lexicon accessible to all. 




Anti Money Laundering (AML)

Anti Money Laundering (AML) —

This is something of an umbrella term and refers to the whole complex of laws, regulations, and procedures devoted to the unearthing of attempts to legitimize illegitimate funds...

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial Intelligence (AI) —

Short for artificial intelligence, AI is the branch of research that focuses on developing machines capable of performing tasks that typically require human intelligence, such as speech recognition, natural language processing, decision-making, and more...



Background Checks

Background Checks —

It's easy for someone to make claims about themselves, but proving the truth of those assertions can be difficult. This is where background checks become necessary...

Black Hat

Black Hat —

Black hats are like the ‘genuine’ hackers from popular culture—shadow actors who hide their identity and pursue vulnerability exploitation, cyber extortion and leaked data trade...

Blockchain Analysis

Blockchain Analysis —

Cryptocurrency Forensics, also known as Blockchain Analysis, is the process of using investigative techniques to analyze cryptocurrency transactions on blockchains and their related ecosystems...


Blockchains —

In a nutshell, a blockchain is a shared, or distributed, ledger recording transactions and assets. The data is compiled through a continuous verification process that links all transactions into a large, decentralized "chain" of participants, who are linked across a network of peer-to-peer computers...


Brandjacking —

Companies do everything in their power to earn the loyalty of their customers. So much so that the rapport organizations have with their user base can be seen as a potentially lucrative opportunity by threat actors...



Cyber Security

Cyber Security —

Cyber Security is the process of protecting computers, devices, and IT systems against malicious attacks and breaches. With cybercrime projected to cost $8 trillion in 2023...


Cybersquatting —

Since the dot-com bubble of the late 90s, web domains have been seen as high-value commodities, especially for companies. At present, this value extends to social media handles as well...



Dark Web

Dark Web —

Setting aside its public image, the Dark Web is actually just a subset of the Deep Web. Comprising a string of unindexed sites, it can be explored in a similar fashion to the Surface Web – except specialized browsers are required...

Dark Web Intelligence (DARKWEBINT)

Dark Web Intelligence (DARKWEBINT) —

Short for ‘Dark Web Intelligence,’ DARKWEBINT can be viewed as a subdiscipline of WEBINT. It involves the analysis and processing of data obtained from sources on the Dark Web, a section of the internet that traditional search...

Data Breach

Data Breach —

Data breaches are the exposure of sensitive or classified information to unauthorized parties and can have disastrous consequences for an organization. When a breach occurs, a company often has to pay out huge sums of money to contain the leak and may also suffer costly reputational damage...

Data Mining

Data Mining —

The image evoked by this term is not so far from the truth. Data mining broadly refers to extracting useful information from large datasets using specialized methods. The process involves using various statistical and computational techniques to identify patterns...

Deep Web

Deep Web —

It’s natural to assume that the sum total of all the web pages findable through Google accounts for a sizable chunk of the online realm. But, in fact, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. 96% is the Deep Web – the portion of the internet not discoverable through standard search engines...


Deepfake —

A portmanteau of "deep learning" and "fake", deepfake is a term used to describe manipulated media created through the employment of machine learning technologies. This can include images, video, and audio, doctored in ways that appear genuine while, in fact...

Digital Footprint

Digital Footprint —

The information detailing an individual’s internet activity when grouped into a single web is known as a digital footprint. They are the digital impressions or traces that users leave behind when they use the World Wide Web, understood and viewed collectively...

Digital Forensics

Digital Forensics —

If ordinary forensics is the application of science in solving crimes, digital forensics uses data retrieval and analysis for the same purpose. As well as digital information from hardware such as computers, smartphones, and...


Dorking —

Not all information extraction techniques require sophisticated tools. Sometimes, regular search engines can provide cybersecurity specialists with enough data to conduct penetration testing or find crucial—perhaps even sensitive...


Doxing  —

A degree of social anonymity is an expectation in online spheres. The amount of information individuals or companies reveal should be up to them, thereby providing a sense of control...

Due Diligence

Due Diligence —

Due diligence is the process of conducting a comprehensive analysis and investigation into a company or individual to assess any risks involved in entering into a business deal or investment with the subject.



Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT)

Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT) —

GEOINT stands for geospatial intelligence and refers to the study of various forms of data surrounding a subject’s geographical location.

Gray Hat

Gray Hat —

Gray hat hackers occupy a murky ethical space in the hacking world. They may be doing something illegal, but they don't have malicious intent as black hat hackers do. Instead, they might hack...




Hijacking —

Cyber hijacking, or hijacking, is the criminal act of seizing control of IT systems, networks, and infrastructures.


Honeypots —

Honeypots are security measures that aim to divert the efforts of hackers through falsified yet valuable-looking targets that are isolated from the main infrastructure. Working on the same principle as a fake door leading into a house...



Imagery Intelligence (IMINT)

Imagery Intelligence (IMINT) —

IMINT, or Imagery Intelligence, is intelligence obtained via collecting and analyzing visual data from various sources such as satellites, reconnaissance aircraft, drones, and more.

Incident Response

Incident Response —

Incident response (or cybersecurity response) refers to an organization's steps and procedures in case of security breaches, cyberattacks, or cyberthreats. 

Internet of Things (IoT)

Internet of Things (IoT) —

The Internet of Things, or IoT, describes physical objects connected to the internet and can communicate with other devices or systems.



Law Enforcement Agency (LEA)

Law Enforcement Agency (LEA) —

Law Enforcement Agency, or shortly LEA, is a government organization responsible for enforcing criminal law at a local, national, or international level.

Link Analysis

Link Analysis —

The process of link analysis involves examining data to uncover relationships or connections that might not be apparent in raw data sets. It is a powerful analytical tool that has a wide range of applications in various sectors, from law enforcement and national security to cyber and...



Machine Learning (ML)

Machine Learning (ML) —

Machine learning (ML) is a growing branch of artificial intelligence (AI) research that involves training an algorithm through repetitive processes, all to improve its capacity for performing specific tasks.


Malware —

Malware—short for"malicious software"—is any file or program aimed to cause harm to a computer, network, or server. 



Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT)

Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT) —

We, of course, need an entry for our eponymous hero. OSINT is an acronym standing for ‘open-source intelligence.’ At first glance, this term can be misleading since, here, ‘open-source’ doesn’t denote software whose code can...

Operations Security (OPSEC)

Operations Security (OPSEC) —

Operations Security, or OPSEC, involves identifying and consolidating critical information to gain a better understanding of a situation. Additionally, it refers to safeguarding data and ensuring a given mission against eavesdropping by unauthorized parties or accidental compromise...



Penetration Testing (Pentest)

Penetration Testing (Pentest) —

Penetration testing, or pentest, is a proactive approach to cybersecurity that involves simulating an attack on a system or network to identify potential vulnerabilities and exploits.

Pig Butchering

Pig Butchering —

Part of romance, crypto, and investment scams, big butchering takes its name from the idea of fattening a pig to maximize your yield before butchering it.

Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) Key Encryption

Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) Key Encryption —

Pretty Good Privacy, or PGP, is an online encryption system for communication that allows sending encrypted emails and encrypting sensitive data.




Ransomware —

Ransomware is a type of malware (malicious software) that blocks access to data or a computer system or threatens to publish sensitive information until the victim pays the cyber attacker.



Script Kiddy

Script Kiddy —

Script kiddies refer to unskilled hackers who use scripts and programs developed by others, usually for malicious purposes.

Security Operations Center (SOC)

Security Operations Center (SOC) —

A Security Operations Center is an organization’s devoted unit of security professionals, either employed in-house or outsourced. 

Sentiment Analysis

Sentiment Analysis —

Sentiment analysis, also known as "opinion mining," is the practice of using natural language processing (NLP), text analysis, and computational linguistics to examine subjective information relating to an individual or organization...

Smear Campaigns

Smear Campaigns —

Smear campaigns, smear tactics, or just a smear˜ are measures to damage or call into question someone's reputation by spreading negative propaganda with the help of discrediting tactics.

Social Engineering

Social Engineering —

Anyone who has been taken in by a scam has fallen victim to a form of social engineering. Cybercrime is also referred to as ‘human hacking’ and is a manipulation technique based on exploiting human error to gain access to...

Social Media Intelligence (SOCMINT)

Social Media Intelligence (SOCMINT) —

A close cousin of OSINT, SOCMINT is an acronym meaning ‘social media intelligence.’ SOCMINT is the collection and analysis of data from social media platforms. Such information might be used for various purposes, including digital footprinting, link analysis, etc.

Social Media Piggybacking (Piggyback Marketing)

Social Media Piggybacking (Piggyback Marketing) —

When a company’s social media post goes viral, it is only a matter of time before millions of people start talking about it. Seeing an opportunity to leverage the post's popularity, companies can join in to redirect some of the traffic toward their services...

Sock Puppet Account

Sock Puppet Account —

Blending in is a crucial skill for any investigator. To achieve this, specialists can create fake social identities for information-gathering purposes. Sock puppets are fictional accounts that are employed by a variety of professionals to conduct investigations...

Surface Web

Surface Web —

If you are reading this text from the Social Links website, you are doing so via the Surface Web. This is part of the internet that we all know and benefits from on a daily basis. It is totally accessible for the public and...





Standing for "The Onion Router", TOR is a protocol used for anonymous network communication. It works by rerouting a user's connection through different encrypted servers, constantly bouncing between IP addresses to ensure complete anonymity...

Thermal Attack

Thermal Attack —

Thermal attacks, also known as "thermal imaging hacks", are a type of cyberattack employing specialized cameras to detect the heat signatures left behind by a user's fingers on a keypad or touchscreen device...

Threat Intelligence

Threat Intelligence —

A cornerstone of cyber security, threat intelligence refers to the methods and processes by which an organization identifies vulnerabilities to inform counter-breach measures. Cyber threat susceptibilities come...



Web Intelligence (WEBINT)

Web Intelligence (WEBINT) —

WEBINT (Web Intelligence) is a general term that refers to relevant and valuable data collected from the internet that has been processed and channeled towards a particular objective. This material can provide valuable insights for a wide range of organizations...

White Hat

White Hat —

White hats are cybersecurity professionals who use their expertise to identify and fix security vulnerabilities in computer systems and networks. They are mainly employed by corporate security departments, and some work at cybersecurity consulting agencies...

Our OSINT Solutions




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A suite of data extraction and analysis methods across social media, blockchains, messengers, and the Dark Web connected directly to your in-house platform via our API.

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A versatile OSINT tool for conducting in-depth investigations across social media, blockchains, messengers, and the Dark Web via the Maltego and i2 platforms.

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An enterprise-grade on-premise OSINT platform with customization options, private data storage, and our widest range of search methods.

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