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P-159: Steganographic Obfuscator: Update 2

by on Apr.15, 2015, under Concepts, Software and Games

After some more research, I have learned that the primary concept of this project is actually more or less impossible.

The fatal flaw was in trying to find a single seed, which, when combined with a random number generator, would produce a specific string of integer values. If this was possible, then it would revolutionise the world of data compression, since, in theory, you could compress an entire website or database to a single integer.

In reality, the chances of finding a single int that produces the desired output, even for very short strings, it so low as to be essentially impossible.

I had originally intended to limit myself to a text-only solution, but I have reluctantly turned my attention to hiding text in images.

Hiding data is raw images, such as .BMP files, is easy, you just change the least significant bit of the pixel colour values to represent the data that you are trying to represent. This produces very little visual distortion in the image, and can encode relatively large messages, or even other files.

However, for image files which have been compressed (most commonly used on the internet) such as .JPG files, this approach cannot be used. This is because the least significant bit is where the compression algorithm does it’s work (to reduce the filessize of the image) meaning that most of the data stored there would be lost. There is another way however, of hiding data in a JPG image, and that is by using Discret Cosine Tranforms, or DCT.

THIS site provides a great deal of information on this, as well as several links to free programs that provide this functionality.

The program that I am using is the simple command line tool StegHide.

The only disadvantage I can see with this program, and the others that I looked at, was that they seem to include some form of encryption. I wanted a simple program to hide, rather than encrypt, a text message into a .jpg image. These programs seem to require passphrases to encode/decode the data, although they can be simply left blank.

I may do some more research on this topic in the future. it’s something that I find very interesting.

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