Application of Steganography to Internet Security

  • Tariq Al Hawi

Student thesis: Master's Thesis

Abstract

Steganography is the process of hiding a secret message within another seemingly innocuous message or carrier. This thesis presents a design and analysis of steganography and assesses its effect on Internet security. To achieve this, various steganography techniques were analyzed and an Internet traffic monitoring environment was built. The environment consists of three stages of steganalysis that attempt to detect the presence of hidden information in JPEG still images within Internet traffic. Stage 1 of the environment, the preprocessing stage, is responsible for running a quick check on digital images for hidden messages using a database of pre-detined signatures of some of the most commonly used steganography tools. Stage 2 is the statistical steganalysis stage. This stage applies further analysis to those images that successfully passed the first stage (i.e. no hidden messages found). It calculates the mean, variance, skew and kurtosis statistical parameters of an image and uses them to determine if the image being analyzed is steganated or not. Stage 3 is the distortion stage. It attempts to destroy or distort the hidden information while maintaining the image's integrity. The goal here is to render the secret data useless for the recipient without raising any suspicion. Throughout various tests conducted on images of different sizes and formats, the designed system was able to detect most of the hidden messages and distort those which passed the first two stages. In each stage an analytical approach was used· to understand the underlying operations of different algorithms and being able to break them.
Date of AwardDec 2005
Original languageAmerican English
SupervisorMahmoud Al Qutayri (Supervisor)

Keywords

  • Steganography; Internet Security

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