Tuesday 12 June 2018

Omnibus - Open Source Information Gathering Tool For Intelligence Collection Research And Artifact Management

Omnibus - Open Source Intelligence Collection Research And Artifact Management

Omnibus - Open Source Information Gathering Tool For Intelligence Collection, Research And Artifact Management

An Omnibus is defined as a volume containing several novels or other items previously published separately and that is exactly what the InQuest Omnibus project intends to be for Open Source Intelligence collection, research, and artifact management.

By providing an easy to use interactive command line application, users are able to create sessions to investigate various artifacts such as IP addresses, domain names, email addresses, usernames, file hashes, Bitcoin addresses, and more as we continue to expand.

This project has taken motivation from the greats that came before it such as SpiderFoot, Harpoon, and DataSploit. Much thanks to those great authors for contributing to the world of open source.

The application is written with Python 2.7 in mind and has been successfully tested on OSX and Ubuntu 16.04 environments.

As this is a pre-release of the final application, there will very likely be some bugs and uncaught exceptions or other weirdness during usage. Though for the most part, it is fully functional and can be used to begin OSINT investigations right away.


Omnibus is built in a modular manner that allows the easy addition, or removal, of OSINT plugins. Each module is included in a single directory, and by adding a few lines of code, your module could be the next one!

As this README and the Wiki continues to grow, we will have full-fledged examples of how to write custom plugins and get them in as Pull Requests!


Before we begin we'll need to cover some terminology used by Omnibus.
  • Artifact:
  1. An item to investigate
  2. Artificats can be created in two ways:
Using the new command or by being discoverd through module execution
  • Session:
  1. Cache of artifacts created after starting the Omnibus CLI
  2. Each artifact in a session is given an ID to quickly identify and retrieve the artifact from the cache
  3. Commands can be executed against an artifact either by providing it's name or it's corresponding session ID
  • Module:
  1. Python script that performs some arbitirary OSINT task against an artifact

Running Omnibus

Starting up Omnibus for investigation is a simple as cloning this GitHub repository, installing the Python requirements using pip install -r requirements.txt and running python2.7 omnibus-cli.py.

API Keys

You must set any API keys you'd like to use within modules inside the omnibus/etc/apikeys.json file. This file is a JSON ocument with placeholders for all the services which require API keys, and is only accessed by Omnibus on a per module basis to retrieve the exact API key a module needs to execute.

It should be noted that most of the services requiring API keys have free accounts and API keys. Some free accounts may have lower resource limits, but that hasn't been a problem during smaller daily investigations or testing the application.

A handy tip: Use the cat apikeys command to view which keys you do in fact have stored. If modules are failing, check here first to ensure your API key is properly saved.

Interactive Console

When you first run the CLI, you'll be greeted by a help menu with some basic information. We tried to build the command line script to mimic some common Linux console commands for ease of use. Omnibus provides commands such as cat to show information about an artifact, rm to remove an artifact from the database, ls to view currently session artifacts, and so on.

One additional feature of note is the use of the > character for output redirection. For example, if you wish to retrieve the details of an artifact named "inquest.net" saved to a JSON file on your local disk you'd simply run the command: cat inquest.net > inquest-report.json and there it would be! This feature also works with full file paths instead of relative paths.

The high level commands you really need to know to use Omnibus are:

  • session
start a new session
  • new <artifact name>
create a new artifact for investigation
  • modules
display list of available modules
  • open <file path>
load a text file list of artifacts into Omnibus as artifacts
  • cat <artifact name | session id>
view beautified JSON database records
  • ls
show all active artifacts
  • rm
remove an artifact from the database
  • wipe
clear the current artifact session

Also, if you ever need a quick reference on the different commands available for different areas of the application there are sub-help menus for this exact purpose. Using these commands will show you only those commands available relevant to a specific area:
  • general
overall commands such as help, history, quit, set, clear, banner, etc.
  • artifacts
display commands specific to artifacts and their management
  • sessions
display helpful commands around managing sessions
  • modules
show a list of all available modules


Most cyber investigations begin with one or more technical indicators, such as an IP address, file hash or email address. After searching and analyzing, relationships begin to form and you can pivot through connected data points. These data points are called Artifacts within Omnibus and represent any item you wish to investigate.

Artifacts can be one of the following types:
  • IPv4 address
  • FQDN
  • Email Address
  • Bitcoin Address
  • File Hash (MD5, SHA1, SHA256, SHA512)
  • User Name

Creating & Managing Artifacts

The command "new" followed by an artifact will create that artifact within your Omnibus session and store a record of the artifact within MongoDB. This record holds the artifact name, type, subtype, module results, source, notes, tags, children information (as needed) and time of creation. Every time you run a module against a created or stored artifact, the database document will be updated to reflect the newly discovered information.

To create a new artifact and add it to MongoDB for tracking, run the command new <artifact name>. For example, to start investigation the domain anydomain.com, you would run new anydomain.com.

Omnibus will automatically determine what type the artifact is and ensure that only modules for that type are executed against the artifact.

When a module is created, new artifacts may be found during the discovery process. For example, running the "dnsresolve" command might find new IPv4 addresses not previously seen by Omnibus. If this is the case, those newly found artifacts are automatically created as new artifacts in Omnibus and linked to their parent with an additional field called "source" to identify from which module they were originally found.

Artifacts can be removed from the database using the "delete" command. If you no longer need an artifact, simply run the delete command and specify the artifacts name or the session ID if it has one.


Omnibus makes use of a feature called "sessions". Sessions are temporary caches created via Redis each time you start a CLI session. Every time you create an artifact, that artifacts name is added to the Session along with a numeric key that makes for easy retrieval, searching, and action against the related artifact. For example if you're session held one item of "inquest.net", instead of needing to execute virustotal inquest.net you could also run virustotal 1 and you would receive the same results. In fact, this works against any module or command that uses an artiface name as it's first argument.

Sessions are here for easy access to artifacts and will be cleared each time you quit the command line session. If you wish to clear the session early, run the command "wipe" and you'll get a clean slate.

Eventually, we would like to add a Cases portion to Omnibus that allows users to create cases of artifacts, move between them, and maintain a more coherent OSINT management platform. Though for this current pre-release, we will be sticking with the Session. :)


Omnibus currently supports the following list of modules. If you have suggestions or modules or would like to write one of your own, please create a pull request.

Also, within the Omnibus console, typing the module name will show you the Help information associated with that module.

  • Blockchain.info
  • Censys
  • ClearBit
  • Cymon
  • DNS subdomain enumeration
  • DNS resolution
  • DShield (SANS ISC)
  • GeoIP lookup
  • Full Contact
  • Gist Scraping
  • GitHub user search
  • HackedEmails.com email search
  • Hurricane Electric host search
  • HIBP search
  • Hunter.io
  • IPInfo
  • IPVoid
  • KeyBase
  • Nmap
  • PassiveTotal
  • Pastebin
  • PGP Email and Name lookup
  • RSS Feed Reader
  • Shodan
  • Security News Reader
  • ThreatCrowd
  • ThreatExpert
  • TotalHash
  • Twitter
  • URLVoid
  • VirusTotal
  • Web Recon
As these modules are a work in progress, some may not yet work as expected but this will change over the coming weeks as we hope to officially release version 1.0 to the world!


Machines are a simple way to run all available modules for an artifact type against a given artifact. This is a fast way if you want to gather as much information on a target as possible using a single command.

To perform this, simply run the command machine <artifact name|session ID>  and wait a few minutes until the modules are finished executing.

The only caveat is that this may return a large volume of data and child artifacts depending on the artifact type and the results per module. To remedy this, we are investigating a way to remove specific artifact fields from the stored database document to make it easier for users to prune unwanted data.

Quick Reference Guide

Some quick commands to remember are:
  • session - start a new artifact cache
  • cat <artifact name>|apikeys - pretty-print an artifacts document or view your stored API keys
  • open <file path> - load a text file list of artifacts into Omnibus for investigation
  • new <artifact name> - create a new artifact and add it to MongoDB and your session
  • find <artifact name> - check if an artifact exists in the db and show the results


Reports are the JSON output of an artifacts database document, essentially a text file version of the output of the "cat" command. But by using the report command you may specify an artifact and a filepath you wish to save the output to:

omnibus >> report inquest.net /home/adam/intel/osint/reports/inq_report.json

This above command overrides the standard report directory of omnibus/reports. By default, and if you do not specify a report path, all reports will be saved to that location. Also, if you do not specify a file name the report will use the following format:



The output of commands can also be saved to arbitrary text files using the standard Linux character >. For example, if you wish to store the output of a VirusTotal lookup for a host to a file called "vt-lookup.json" you would simply execute:

virustotal inquest.net > vt-lookup.json

By default the redirected output files are saved in the current working directory, therefore "omnibus/", but if you specify a full path such as virustotal inquest.net > /home/adam/intel/cases/001/vt-lookup.json the JSON formatted output will be saved there.

Monitoring Modules

Omnibus will soon be offering the ability to monitor specific keywords and regex patterns across different sources. Once a match is found, an email or text message alert could be sent to the user to inform them on the discovery. This could be leveraged for real-time threat tracking, identifying when threat actors appear on new forums or make a fresh Pastebin post, or simply to stay on top of the current news.

Coming monitors include:

  • RSS monitor
  • Pastebin monitor
  • Generic Pastesite monitoring
  • Generic HTTP/JSON monitoring

Download OSINT Omnibus


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