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Steganography: Uses, Methods, Tools and Examples



Mohammed Almintakh


This paper discusses steganography, steganography is the art work or covering data in just a medium without permitting others to learn about that data is exsisting. I'll proceed through an introduction about it, then explaining the backdrop of computer and more info about the uses of this technique, and exactly how organization make use of it in their own good. This subject surprisingly is new for almost all of people who read its name, ill try to simplify the idea of this approach as much as possible.

1. Introduction

Steganography is the artwork of hiding a note. The goal of steganography is to cover up a message from a someone you don't want to see it. It is different than cryptography, the art work of key writing, which is supposed to make a message can't be read, but will not hide the presence of the secret communication. Although steganography differs from cryptography, there are many analogies between the two, plus some writers classify steganography as a kind of cryptography since concealed communication is a kind of magic formula writing. Steganography functions by changing items of pointless or bot used data in regular computer files (such as images, sound, wording, HTML) with bits of different, unseen information. This concealed information can be plain text, cipher text, or even images.

2. Steganography Background:

Information hiding is related to two fields, Steganography and watermarking.

There are three main aspects for information hiding, capacity, security, and robustness. Capacity means the amount of information that may be hidden, security identifies the unability of an eavesdropper to discover concealed information, and robustness to the quantity of changes the cover medium can avoid before the hidden information is corrupted. Generally, information hiding undergoes these processes:

1. Recognition of redundant bits in a cover medium. Redundant pieces are those parts that can be edited without caring for the grade of the cover medium.

2. Then, we decide on a subset of the redundant bits to be substituted with data from an exclusive message. The stage medium is created by swapping the chosen redundant pieces with message pieces.

The adjustment of redundant parts can transform the statistical properties of the cover medium. Because of this, statistical research may uncover the invisible content.

3. Uses of Steganography

Steganography means of storing data in a way that it hides the living of these. Steganography used to handle hidden exchanges. For example, Governments are enthusiastic about two types of communication of invisible data: first, which supports national security and second, which will not. Steganography support both types, also business have similar concerns, about trade secrets for new technology or products information. Of course, using steganography to connect greatly reduces the chance of information leakage. Businesses calls for advantage of another form of steganography, called watermarking. Watermarking is mainly used to recognize and entails hidden unique part of information in a medium without touching the medium. For instance, suppose that I've design an image, your image, I've inlayed a watermark that recognizes me as the one who created this image, down the road, when this image is multiply with people, I could later identify myself as the inventor and I can of course prove that I am the owner of this. This approach is utilized by companies for the copyrighted digital multimedia a lot for the purpose of coverage. Also, steganography increases the privacy singularly, though it is not really a substitute for encryption, of course this works well only if the hidden embedded information is not found. In case the communication is almost never exists, this will becomes so private to be trapped.

Like many tools, steganography:

1. Steganography can be a way which makes it possible to send information and information without being censored and without worries of the information being intercepted and traced back again to us.

2. Additionally it is possible to simply use steganography to store information on a location. For example, several information options like our private banking information, some military secrets, can be stored in a cover source. When we must unhide the trick information inside our cover source, we can easily reveal our banking data and it'll be impossible to establish the lifestyle of the military secrets inside.

3. Steganography may also be used to use watermarking. Although the idea of watermarking is not necessarily steganography, there are several steganography techniques that are being used to store watermarks in data. The primary difference is on purpose, while the reason for steganography is covering information, watermarking is only stretching the cover source with extra information. Since people will not accept notable changes in images, audio or video data due to a watermark, steganography methods can be used to conceal this.

4- Steganographic Methods:

The solution below describes the process of steganography as reviewed above:

cover_medium + hidden_data + stego_key = stego_medium

The explanation of this formula is,

  1. The cover medium refers to the file that people will put our information onto it.
  2. Hidden data certainly is the data you want to keep magic formula.
  3. An encryption advanced which is a choice for all of us.

The result will be a stego medium, which is the same data file as the cover medium.

The simplest way to hide the data in an image, is named LSB(least significant bit) insertion.

Figure 1: shows a taxonomy of steganographic techniques.

5. Steganography Tools:

A steganography software tools allows a user to attach concealed data in a carrier file, such as an image or training video, and sometimes it could be an audio tracks, and later take off that data. It isn't necessary to conceal the message in the original file at all. Thus, it isn't necessary to alter the original document and therefore, it is hard to discover nothing. If a given part of the message is subjected to successive bitwise manipulation to generate the cyphertext, then there is no evidence in the original file showing that it's being used by a third party. to encrypt a file. An example of this technique is referred to in a self-published technology fiction novel. In that example a file is encrypted using a 1949 photography from a digital archive of Country wide Geographic newspaper.

6. Steganography Example:

There are software that preform steganography, some of well has learned programs are :

Hide4PGP (http://www. heinz-repp. onlinehome. de/Hide4PGP. htm)

MP3Stego (http://www. cl. cam. ac. uk/~fapp2/steganography/mp3stego/)

Stash (http://www. smalleranimals. com/stash. htm)

Steganos (http://www. steganos. com/english/steganos/download. htm)

S-Tools (available fromhttp://www. webattack. com/download/dlstools. shtml)

7- Describing an instrument of Steganography and how it operates:

Take a peek upon this picture

Figure 2: Stego picture

This picture looks ok, nothing dubious, nothing wrong with it, however in reality they have a hidden communication. If you use a software tool to investigate the pictures, this consequence will come up:

Figure 3: QuickStego program

Basically, this system is done by these steps below :

Figure 4: Steganography process

8- Deep understanding of Steganography:

Steganography comes from the Greek words for "covered writing". It's the practice of disguising the lifestyle of a note. Generally, innocent looking carriers, e. g. , pictures, audio, video tutorial, text message, etc. that contain the hidden information The blend of invisible data-plus-cover is known as the stego-object Stegokey Yet another little bit of information, such as a password or mathematical variable, required to embed the trick information Typical Circumstance Sender Sender Hides Key Message In a very Cover Utilizing a Stegokey Transmitted Carrier Appears Innocuous Device Decodes Secret Meaning by detatching the Cover Utilizing the Stegokey Recipient Reads Top secret Message

9. Steganography and Security

As mentioned above, steganography is an effective and efficient way of hiding data, it is just protecting the info from the unauthorized or unwanted interception. But stego is merely one of many methods to protect the confidentiality of data. It really is probably the best found in integration with another data-hiding method. When found in collection, these ways can all become a part of a split security mechanism. Some good complementary methods include:

  • Encryption- Encryption is the procedure of crossing data or plaintext by having a series of numerical processes that create an alternate form of the initial words known as ciphertext. The encrypted content material can only be read by one who have been given the proper key to decrypt the ciphertext back to its original plaintext form. Encryption doesn't cover data, but it does make it difficult to read!
  • Hidden internet directories (Windows)- Home windows provides this feature, which allows users to hide files. By using this mechanism is as easy as changing the characteristics of an directory to "hidden", and expecting that no-one can view all sorts of data files in their explorer.
  • Hiding web directories (Unix)- in current directories which may have a whole lot of data, such such as the /dev directory on the Unix implementation, or making a directory website that starts off with three dots (. . . ) versus the standard single or double dot.
  • Covert stations- Some tools may be used to copy important data in apparently normal network traffic. One particular tool that will that is Loki. Loki is a tool that hides data in ICMP traffic (like ping).

10. Steganography vs. Encryption

The goal of steganography is never to keep others know the covered information, of cource, to keep others from convinced that the info even can be found. if a way of steganography triggers someone to think the medium which bears the data, then the method has failed. Encryption and Steganography achieve separate goals, encryption is changing this is of the meaning so it cannot be read, steganography does not change the meaning or change the info to make it unusable or unintended, alternatively, it prevents the 3rd party from suspecting that there is a communication or data even is available.

For these folks who want to reach ultimate in security or level of privacy, can combine both strategies, encryption and steganography. Encrypted data is difficult to be differentiate from normal happening phenomena than a normal plain text (which really is a raw text) in the medium, there are several steganography tools that can encrypt data before hiding them in a chosen medium.

Steganography should not be lost with encryption. Encryption disguises this content of a message. The lifetime of the concept is usually clear. Steganography disguises the living of the meaning. However, additional security can be acquired if steganography is combined with encryption.

11. Steganalysis and its techniques:

Steganalysis, is the counter measure of steganography, is the skill of detecting that there is a steganography prevails, or a decoded data within a medium. You can find two main major tools in Steganalysis, information theory and statistical analysis. Mainly, this unveils clearly the great potential for invisible information in the interner data of course so long as a couple of data can be compressed to smaller sizes. there should be a space for covered data within the medium.

Steganalysis can be labeled similarly as cryptanalysis methods, generally based on how much prior information is well known :

Steganography-only episode: The steganography medium is the one item available for analysis.

Known-carrier attack: The carrier and steganography advertising are both available for analysis.

Known-message invasion: The hidden message is well known.

Chosen-steganography attack: The steganography medium and algorithm are both known.

Chosen-message episode: A known note and steganography algorithm are used to create steganography marketing for future analysis and assessment.

Known-steganography harm: The carrier and steganography medium, as well as the steganography algorithm, are known.

12. Method of Steganography:

A lot of methods are for sale to digital Steganography. But exploiting the lenient constraints of an file formats is the most well-known one. There are a lot of softwares that uses this system.

a- Image as companies:

One of the ways to hide data is using images, which really is a good method.

The difficulty to uncover the data concealed raises with the detailed in an image, and that makes it harder to reckon or to suspect that image. JPHIDE/JPSeek is a deal that uses the coefficients to cover up the info. (http://linux01. gwdg. de/~alatham/stego. html).

There was a new method of that, that embeds data in aesthetically insignificant parts of an image. These both methods enhance the image. The user however can explore image degradation with different announcements and images of different span. Another way is perfect for GIF images, is to modify an image's palette for hiding its data. Gifshuffle, which really is a tool, that doesn't modify the image itself, in any noticeable way. It permutes a GIF image's color map, that will leave the original image completely intact.

b- Audio Document Carriers:

A great deal of deals also designed for embedding and covering data in the music files. Among the tools for audio tracks file hiding stego is the MP3Stego, which does not only conceal information effectively, of cource arbitrary, somewhat also remarks to be partially strong approach to watermarking the targeted MP3 audio files. The WAV formal, which stands for Wavaform Audio EXTENDABLE, is a Microsoft sound format which mainly windows depends upon, however, this format lets users cover data using StegoWave or Steghide (http://www. radiusnet. net/crypto/steanography/Java/stegowav. zip) (http://steghide. sourceforge. net/). These sites refer to both programs in order. Steghide modifies the LSB of data to be transmit in the carrier medium. Using an audio tracks record as a medium is less popular than using a graphic as a steganography medium.

c- Data Buying:

The data purchasing which does not have ordering constrains, is usually a very good method of steganography. Each change of a group of objects could be pointed to an optimistic integer. pointing may then be used to encode the hidden data by changing the collection of objects that aren't considered in purchased by the carrier medium. While this system mainly, does not change the information quality, the data which are hidden can of course easily get lost if the medium is encoded again. For example, if we've a GIF which its color map consist of hidden data, we could then start the GIF in our favorite graphics-editing tool bundle which will be used, and save it again. Aesthetically, the effect will be both similar, from the initial file to the next file, however the ordering of the color map may have been lost.

13. Limits:

Steganography is limited exactly like that encryption is, if bob wants to send an image with a concealed subject matter to alice, he have to first agree secretly with alice on a means of steganography. Within the encryption model, alice can be quite sure when she's got some ciphertext. Why don't we have a circumstance about alice, when she wants to acquire bobs camera and neglects to simply tell him to be careful for each and every 73rd byte in the images she transmits him. Bobs will be ignorant of Alice's steganography attempts. The chanses that bob will let alice acquire his digital camera will reduce the large number of pictures he'll acquire from her. The quantity of data that could be effectively hidden in a medium is heading to be limited by the size of the medium itselt. The less limits that exist on the integrity of the medium, a lot more potential it has for hiding data.

14. Conclution

I have briefly discussed and defined steganography, which is in my opinion a powerful tool to take action many things regarding security or consistency in any field of communication. why that, this system can be used in any section in true to life, military, businesess, educational, government authorities plus more. Also, I have shown varous tools and exactly how they function well.

15- Sources:

1- Artz, D. (2001). Digital steganography: Concealing data within data. IEEE Internet Computing, 75-80.

2- Provos, N. , & Honeyman, P. (2012). Discovering Steganographic Content on the Internet.

3- Classification of Concealing Techniques Ref: F. A. P. Petitcolas, R. J. Anderson, and M. G. Kuhn, "Information Concealing - A Survey, " in Proc. Of this IEEE, vol. 87, No. 7, July 1999, pg. 1063

Kessler, G. (2001, September 11). Steganography: Concealing Data Within Data. Retrieved December 6, 2014, from http://www. garykessler. net/library/steganography. htmlhttp://www. garykessler. net/library/fsc_stego. html

Kessler, G. (2004, Feb 2). An Overview of Steganography for the Computer Forensics Examiner. Retrieved December 6, 2014, from http://www. garykessler. net/library/fsc_stego. html

http://www. symantec. com/connect/articles/steganography-revealed

http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Steganography#Network

http://www. webopedia. com/TERM/S/steganography. html

http://quickcrypto. com/free-steganography-software. htm

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