Steganographic storage of encrypted files in images.
What I find truly fascinating is that there is no way to tell if an image contains steganographically hidden encrypted data. Even if you know every line of the source code of the program that you suspect may have been used to hide the data, you still have nothing to help you prove anything.
If the least significant bits in the RGB-values contains encrypted data they should appear to be random. But the least significant bits in an ordinary image on the other hand, could be expected to be less random and show a bit more regional uniformity.
But randomness in the least significant bits does not constitute proof that there are encrypted data hidden. The randomness of the RGB-values could originate from natural minute color shade variations in the surface of the physical object being photographed or be the result of an image editor filter.
I’ve been working on an encryption program in C# for a couple of days. It encrypts files and hides the encrypted data steganographically inside images.
The portrait above actually does contain data that can be extracted and be visually interpreted in an unexpected way. Hidden in the above images is another image. The image you see below:
I think that maybe it’s wrong to say that the initial image contains hidden data. There are no hidden data. All data in the initial image is visually represented on the screen. The question is how you interpret the data.
To make things more interesting I can reveal that the above bluish image also contains something that you might not expect.
Encoded in the pixels is a text file with the 81 verses of the ancient Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu.
The Tao that can be trodden is not the enduring and
unchanging Tao. The name that can be named is not the enduring and
(Conceived of as) having no name, it is the Originator of heaven
and earth; (conceived of as) having a name, it is the Mother of all
Always without desire we must be found,
If its deep mystery we would sound;
But if desire always within us be,
Its outer fringe is all that we shall see.
Under these two aspects, it is really the same; but as development
takes place, it receives the different names. Together we call them
the Mystery. Where the Mystery is the deepest is the gate of all that
is subtle and wonderful.
Above you see only the first verse. The bluish image contains all 81 verses!