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Steganography: Hiding Your Messages

Monday, January 5th, 2009 by | Filed Under: Uncategorized

In today’s age of hackers, phishers and identity thefts, you can never be too sure when saving or sending private or sensitive information. Although you might use safe practices, your recipient may not. As you may recall, in the past, I have shown you how to encrypt data using AxCrypt. That’s a good program to use, but if someone were to get ahold of it and realize it was encrypted, it would increase their interest and motivate them to crack open your files. And that’s when today’s tip comes into play!

First, let me ask you this: would you believe there’s something hidden in the picture below?

Well, there is and it was placed there using steganography. Steganography is the art and science of writing hidden messages in such a way that no one apart from the sender and intended recipient knows it’s there. It’s useful when you want to send passwords or confidential information out or if you only want certain people to be able to read a message. Sound neat? Then let’s see how you can use it to your advantage!

1.) To get started, go ahead and download an application called Hide In Picture and extract the zip file.

2.) Open the winhip_en file and you’ll see this simple interface:

3.) Now, you can pick the image that will hold the hidden file. The image needs to be in Bitmap or GIF format. When you have your image ready, select File and then Open Picture.

4.) The image will then appear. To hide a file, click on Image, Hide Image. Select a file and then click Open. Most likely, you’ll select a document, but you can also hide an MP3 or another image.

5.) Enter in a password and then click OK.

6.) To save your new encrypted image, click Image and then Save.

How to Read the Hidden Image

1.) To open the hidden file, you must use Hide In Picture. Open the Hide In Picture program and click on File, Open Picture.

2.) Select your image file and then click Open.

3.) On the menu, select Image, Retrieve File and then enter your password.

4.) You’ll then be prompted to save the encrypted file.

With a little practice, steganography is a very easy way to send sensitive information over your network or the dangerous information superhighway. Have fun!

~Neil Patel

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