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Unwitting Collaborators, Part 9: Steganography

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A seemingly simple email conversation or family photo can hide devastating secret information. Learn how cyber thugs can use public web sites as vehicles for malicious communication by transmitting something that looks innocuous but contains hidden images or text.
Read the introduction to this article series.
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Introduction to Steganography

One purpose of hijacking a system is to allow clandestine operatives to use established communications vehicles for secret communication. One example of systems hijacking is steganography, which literally means "covered writing," and dates back to ancient Greek times. Steganography is the art and science of hiding the fact that communication is happening. It involves hiding messages inside text, images, sounds, or other binary files for clandestine communications.

Steganography attempts to hide a message in such a way that an outside observer may not realize that a message is being communicated. Unlike encryption, steganography cannot be detected easily. Now that this ancient technique has been applied to modern communications systems, it has become a very effective form of sending undetectable messages—and possibly a valuable tool for cyberterrorists.

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