How many readers out there have ever heard of steganography?
Steganography is not a type of dinosaur: but is a form of security through obscurity. Steganography is often used in the tech world as an obscure way of storing a file (or files) inside another file such as a picture. As a result, anyone looking at the picture has no idea the sensitive file exists. Mix this concept with encryption and you have very secure method to hide (and secure) sensitive files. The picture appears as it should appear, opens on the computer just like any other picture; and, the only clue given (to the trained eye) that something may be out of the ordinary is that the file size of the picture will appear larger due to the sensitive file being contained within. Pretty neat stuff if you think about it…
So how can you take advantage of steganography?
What got me going on this, is an article posted at I Love Free Software [click here] about a FREE steganography program called Our Secret. It is programs like Our Secret that incites me to find clever ways to use it. I encourage you to read the article at I Love Free Software — Hide files and Messages Inside Images with Our Secret – to get a more detailed walkthrough on using the program.
First off, Our Secret is pretty easy to use and I encourage you to give it a try. Straight from the horses mouth, Our Secret is this:
Our Secret enables you to hide and encrypt files within other files (called carrier files) such as pictures or sound files. This allows you to encrypt sensitive information, while at the same time hiding it in a file that will not look suspicious, so nobody even knows that there is any encrypted information. Typically Our Secret is a three to four step process (depending if you use a password).
Just select the desired ‘carrier file’ (which will hide the information), select what kind of information you want to hide, create a password, and push the ‘hide’ button. After you save the new file, you can erase the one you wanted to hide. The unhide process goes in the same way but vice versa.
One clever way that I found to use Our Secret was this… I took three documents, used Our Secret to hide the three documents inside a picture. I then uploaded the picture to my box.com account and stored it in my pictures folder. Online, the picture opened just like any other picture; however, encapsulated inside that picture is my hidden document files.
Note: One thing I did not notice is that there is not a portable version of Our Secret which would really make this program handy; however, I did manage to break the program install down with Universal Extractor so that I can carry it on my flash drive. I do need to experiment further to see if this program writes to the registry to determine if it truly can be used as a portable app or not.
GEEK BONUS AREA