Basic - OSINT - M02 - Gathering data from Instagram

This post is a part of the OSINT series.

1. Why would you want to use Instagram in OSINT?

Instagram is a great platform for sharing photos and short movies where users have a possibility to using tags for their content, since 2012 Instagram is a part of Facebook which means that this platform is really important in social media world. Below some of Instagram numbers:

Instagram also provides a Instagram API which can be very usefull for data mining and gathering interesting information about Instagram users. In this article we are going to use Python-Instagram library which will help us to use the API with Python language.

2. How to use Instagram in OSINT?

2.1 Discover followers for Instagram user.

How to run this code:

python user_insta_followers.py -u INSTA_USER_NAME

Parameters:

-u - Instagram user name

Output:

insta_followers_of_INSTA_USER_NAME.csv

File Header:

"follower_id","name"

Comment:

When having these kind of data about user we then will be able to find out more information about him, For example:

2.2 Discover friends for Instagram user.

How to run this code:

python user_insta_friends.py -u INSTA_USER_NAME

Parameters:

-u - Instagram user name

Output:

insta_friends_of_INSTA_USER_NAME.csv

File Header:

"friend_id","name"

Comment:

When having these kind of data about user we then will be able to find out more information about him, For example:

2.3 Get photos of Instagram user.

How to run this code:

python user_insta_photos.py -u INSTA_USER_NAME -s yes

Parameters:

-u - Instagram user name

-s - yes/no if we want to download all user photos

Output:

insta_followers_of_INSTA_USER_NAME.csv

user photos as *.jpg files

File Header:

"photo_id","photo_url","like_count"

Comment:

Having such big amount of photos we can of course use those for:

3. Next steps

The aim of this article was to show and present the possibilities of using Instagram as a source of data, I described why Instagram can be so important in OSINT and how to gathenring data from it.

Please remember that this is just an introduction and covers only data gathering, you should realize that this is just a first step into OSINT world, in next we should know how to analyze collected data and how to get information from such data. These steps I would like to describe in Advanced OSINT series, so please leave the comment below if you are interested in such series of articles.

4. Additional information

The source code attached to this article is available on GitHub.

To start working with Instagram API you will need to register as a developer to gain developer keys, you can of course find on Google how to do this or just simple read the instructions from Instagram Developer Site and enjoy your work. You can always use this helpfull Python script to gain developer keys.

Posted with : OSINT

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