Steganography: Hiding Secret Files using openstego
Do you have sensitive information or files that you want to keep hidden from prying eyes?
If so, you may want to consider hiding them within your music and photo files.
With this technique, you can protect your confidential data and store it in plain sight without raising any red flags.
In this blog, you’ll learn about:
- What is Steganography?
- Why use Steganography?
- How to Use Steganography?
- How to hide secret information in an Image?
- How to hide secret information in an Audio file?
What is Steganography?
Steganography is a method of hiding secret data within another file, such as an image, audio, or video file.
The purpose of steganography is to conceal the existence of secret data and protect it from unauthorized access.
Unlike encryption, which encodes the data to make it unreadable without a key, steganography hides the data in plain sight, disguised as something else.
Why use Steganography?
So there could be various reasons to use steganography; mostly, people use steganography to hide private or secret data from an attacker. People use steganography not just for text but also to conceal crucial and confidential files from public exposure.
One can use steganography to conceal images within images, secret files within music or image files, and many other forms of data.
Other reasons to use steganography include the following:
Concealment: Storing sensitive information in plain sight without drawing attention to it. People disguise secret data as a seemingly ordinary file, like a photo or music file, to make it less detectable to others.
Security: By hiding secret data within another file, steganography provides an extra layer of security. Individuals disguise the data as something else, making it much more difficult for unauthorized parties to detect and access it.
Bypass Firewalls and Security Measures: It can also be used to bypass firewalls and other security measures that may block or restrict the transfer of certain types of files.
Protect Sensitive Data: Protecting sensitive information, such as personal identification, financial records, or confidential business data.
How to Use Steganography?
To use steganography, first of all, we need a cover file, such as an image or audio file, and a
steganography software tool.
Now that we’ve booted up our software, we now need to encode our secret data into the cover file,
which will result in the creation of a new file that contains both the original cover file and the hidden secret data.
Now if we want to access the secret data, we simply use the steganography software to decode the file,
entering the password you set during the encoding process. The secret data will then be extracted and made accessible to you.
How to hide secret information in an Image?
There are several tools available for hiding secret information in images using steganography. Here are some popular options:
It is a free and open-source steganography tool that supports a wide range of image and audio file formats.
A user-friendly steganography tool that enables you to hide text or files within an image.
It supports multiple image file formats and includes features such as batch processing,
encryption, and password protection.
It supports multiple image file formats and uses a combination of randomization and
redundancy to ensure the data is well-hidden within the cover image.
A command-line based steganography tool that supports a wide range of image file formats.
You can try any you want, I’ll be using “OpenStego version-0.8.6.”
So to hide secret information in an image using “OpenStego,” follow the steps below:
For Hiding data
- First of all, we need an image file that will act as a cover for our secret file. Paste the path to your cover file in the second placeholder.
- Then copy the path of your secret file and paste the path in the first placeholder.
- You will observe in the 3rd placeholder the mention of ‘Output stego file,’ which requires you to provide the location where you will save the final encrypted files.
- Then, if you want, you can change the encryption algorithm or leave it as it is on AES128.
- Then give your password, and remember it, as if you forget it, you won’t get back your secret file.
For Extracting data
Extracting data is easy; you just need to know the path of the image, in which the data is hidden in the first placeholder.
Now you need to choose the folder where you want to extract the hidden files, and paste the path in the second placeholder. Finally, you must enter the password that you used to hide the data.
Then click on “Extract data.” You are done extracting hidden files from the image.
How to hide secret information in an Audio file?
You can use various tools to hide secret information in an audio file, and I’ll list the best ones.
This is a commercial tool for audio steganography that provides advanced features for hiding and retrieving secret information.
This is a free, open-source tool that supports several audio file formats and provides a user-friendly interface for hiding and retrieving secret information.
This is a commercial tool that provides advanced features for hiding and retrieving secret information in audio files.
A free tool for audio steganography that can be used to hide secret information in WAV audio files.
This is a free tool that can be used to hide secret information in MP3 audio files.
Here is a list of a few tools that I found to be the best; you can try any of them.I’ll be using “DeepSound2.0.”
Follow the steps below if you are using “DeepSound2.0“:
For Hiding data
1. You’ll need an audio file that will act as a cover for your secret file. For that, select the audio from the “Open carrier files” button.
2. Then click on the “Add secret files” button and add your secret files.
3. Next, look for a button labelled “Encode secret files” and click it.After that, this window will appear; select your desired output format of audio, or you can leave it as it is.
4. Make sure to add a password; for that, you need to checkmark “Encrypt secret files (AES 256)”.
5. Then enter your passwords, then click the “Encode secret files” button below.
Now you’ve successfully encoded your secret files inside your selected audio.
For Extracting data
Now for extracting the secret files, you need to select the encrypted audio file by clicking the “Open carrier files” button. As soon as you open the encrypted file, it will ask for a password.
After you put the correct password in, you will notice an “Extract secret files” button; click on it.
Now that you’ve successfully extracted your secret files from the audio file, cheers!
Steganography is a powerful tool for hiding secret files and protecting sensitive information.
By using a cover file and a steganography software tool, you can encode your secret data and store it in plain sight without raising any red flags.
Whether you’re looking to protect personal identification, financial records, or confidential business data, steganography can help keep your information safe and secure.