Steganography-Still Active

The act of hiding a message may be tracked historically at least to the time of Caesar with their rudimentary cryptography when sending messages to the armies or other politicians. This has advanced significantly to the pre-quantum computing cryptographic algorithms and post-quantum computing algorithms that are still being researched.

One area that has lost attention is steganography. Without going into extreme detail, this method hides data, pictures, or other confidential information into a picture with various methods. This garnered significant attention with the alleged Russian spies of years ago that were sending messages back in pictures.

This has continued to be used much under the radar. This has recently been in the news as the deviants continue to use this for their benefit. The data being hidden, specifically for the recent application, is another person’s credit card data. The data may be hidden in the person’s individual pictures and emailed or in pictures on websites. The adjustments to the pictures are so utterly minor that the human eye is not able to differentiate between the two pictures. After all, with the level of color choice and number of pixels, a modification of +/- a color in a series of pixels will not be noticeable to a human, but easily discernible to the application to decrypt the information. This is yet another avenue for people to use for positive and negative acts.

About the author

Charles Parker, II has been working in the info sec field for over a decade, performing pen tests, vulnerability assessments, consulting with small- to medium-sized businesses to mitigate and remediate their issues, and preparing IT and info sec policies and procedures. Mr. Parker’s background includes work in the banking, medical, automotive, and staffing industries.

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