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Hiding in Plain Sight: Steganography and the Art of Covert Communication

Your hands-on guide to understanding, detecting, and using today’s most potent tool for secret communication–steganography

These days, encryption of confidential data and communications is an increasingly important part of doing business. But steganography can take data confidentiality to a whole new level, since it hides encrypted messages in ordinary-looking data files, making the very existence of the messages practically undetectable. Although steganography is not a new field and has played a critical part in secret communication throughout history, few people understand exactly how it works today. This detailed, practical guide changes that–whether your goal is to add an extra level of security to business or government communications or to detect and counter steganography when it’s used by criminals or terrorists.

By teaching you how to protect your vital data and detect information attacks against networks, Cole aims to expose security threats so you can take action to minimize the damage going forward. He explores such topics as:

  • The basics of cryptography and digital water- marking, two companion technologies that are often used in concert with steganography
  • Who is using steganography and some of the ethical and legal challenges our society faces when privacy and security collide
  • The nuts and bolts of using steganography tools and transmitting hidden data over networks
  • Methods you can use to crack steganography and cryptography
  • "Steganography in Action Stories"–fictionalized versions of the kind of secret communication scenarios Cole observed during his years working for the CIA and as a security consultant
  • Ideas for keeping your own communications secure
  • Where steganography is headed in the future

The CD-ROM includes not only valuable original source code for steganography techniques discussed in the book, but also several popular steganography tools, and color versions of original and manipulated images from the book for you to compare.

About the Author
ERIC COLE is currently Chief Scientist for The Sytex Group’s Information Warfare Center, where he heads up cutting-edge research in steganography and network security. Prior to this, Cole worked for more than five years in security for the CIA, during which time he earned six achievement awards and led a team of security professionals in the design and deployment of secure communications systems. Cole continues to consult for many government agencies. He holds several professional certifications and helped develop several of the SANS GIAC security certifications and corresponding courses. He has appeared on CNN, CBS News, and 60 Minutes.

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