Security Issues and Principles Research Paper

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SECURITY ISSUES AND PRINCIPLES

STEGANOGRAPHY [n. stə nóggrəfi]
Steganography (literally meaning covered writing) dates back to ancient Greece, where common practices consisted of etching messages in wooden tablets and covering them with wax, and tattooing a shaved messenger's head, letting his hair grow back, and then shaving it again when he arrived at his contact point. Steganography comes from the Greek steganos, or "covered," and graphie, or "writing". Synonymous to abstraction, the art and science of hiding information by embedding messages within other, seemingly harmless messages. Steganography takes cryptography a step farther by hiding an encrypted message so that no one suspects it exists. Ideally, anyone scanning your data
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"Most people study steganography either as an academic discipline or a curiosity, but I don't know if even terrorist groups would actually use it," says Chakraborty. Last year, after reading a USA Today article about steganography and terrorism, Neils Provos, a Ph.D. student in computer science at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, decided do his dissertation on steganography. Provos developed detection and cracking tools to analyze images for signs of steganography, such as overly large files and uneven bit mapping. He tested the tools and then used them to compare 2 million images on San Jose-based eBay Inc.'s Web site, which has been cited as a possible place for posting and retrieving hidden messages. Provos found no cases of steganography.

IT303.Security Issues and Principles

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"Steganography becomes the focus of attention, dies down, and then the public is all over it again," says Provos. "But it will never be pervasive, because the amount of data you can actually hide in the images is fairly small. And if someone wanted to steal intellectual property, it'd be easier to copy the data on a disk and carry it out in your pocket." Even if steganography is present, forensics experts prefer to start by investigating less complex areas. However, in some cases, the only evidence might be hidden in image or sound files, so investigators need to be aware of steganography and the tools used to detect and crack it, say experts. "It's

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