Steganography Revealed

    Date10 Apr 2003
    CategoryCryptography
    3455
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    Over the past couple of years, steganography has been the source of a lot of discussion, particularly as it was suspected that terrorists connected with the September 11 attacks might have used it for covert communications. While no such connection has . . . Over the past couple of years, steganography has been the source of a lot of discussion, particularly as it was suspected that terrorists connected with the September 11 attacks might have used it for covert communications. While no such connection has been proven, the concern points out the effectiveness of steganography as a means of obscuring data. Indeed, along with encryption, steganography is one of the fundamental ways by which data can be kept confidential. This article will offer a brief introductory discussion of steganography: what it is, how it can be used, and the true implications it can have on information security.

    While we are discussing it in terms of computer security, steganography is really nothing new, as it has been around since the times of ancient Rome. For example, in ancient Rome and Greece, text was traditionally written on wax that was poured on top of stone tablets. If the sender of the information wanted to obscure the message - for purposes of military intelligence, for instance - they would use steganography: the wax would be scraped off and the message would be inscribed or written directly on the tablet, wax would then be poured on top of the message, thereby obscuring not just its meaning but its very existence[1].

    According to Dictionary.com, steganography (also known as "steg" or "stego") is "the art of writing in cipher, or in characters, which are not intelligible except to persons who have the key; cryptography" [2]. In computer terms, steganography has evolved into the practice of hiding a message within a larger one in such a way that others cannot discern the presence or contents of the hidden message[3]. In contemporary terms, steganography has evolved into a digital strategy of hiding a file in some form of multimedia, such as an image, an audio file (like a .wav or mp3) or even a video file.

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