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Issue 21.1 ('Xojo Eliza')
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Exploring Steganography, Part 4

Hiding Secret Text in a Picture

Issue: 21.1 (January/February 2023)
Author: Eugene Dakin
Author Bio: Eugene works as a Senior Oilfield Technical Specialist. He has university degrees in the disciplines of Engineering, Chemistry, Biology, Business, and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering. He is the author of dozens of books on Xojo available on the xdevlibrary.com website.
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 22,762
Starting Page Number: 58
Article Number: 21106
Resource File(s):

Download Icon project21106.zip Updated: 2023-01-03 09:08:53

Related Link(s): None

Excerpt of article text...

This article is part 4 of Steganography, which is hiding data in a picture, known as Text Steganography. A 300 x 300-pixel picture is able to hide about 90,000 characters, which works out to 20,000 words or 40 single-spaced pages. This is a significant amount of hidden information!

Another way to explain the data is that all the text in Shakespeare's Hamlet would fit in a 600 x 600 picture. An example program has been created in native Xojo code to create the final hidden picture. This article and example explicitly works with LSB (Least Significant Bit) Steganography.

This native Xojo program converts all lower-case letters to upper-case, and the conversion code should be able to run on almost any Xojo platform.

Steganography is the ability to hide text, or other data that is a secret, into another picture that is not a secret. A common term is that the data is hidden-in-plain-sight. One of the many ways that Text Steganography can be used without computers is by using the first-letter of words to create a hidden message. For example, let's hide the message "SECRET INSIDE" in a sentence and use the color red so the message is easier to decode (see Figure 1).

This type of steganography is decrypted by removing the first-letter from every word and then reading the message. The original message would not have the first letters colored in red.

If the message would be intercepted by unfriendly people, they would know that there is a message but would not be able to find out what it means. To make the message harder to detect, more mundane words would be used to follow the natural flow of the language. Steganography like this occurs in the world of spies, hackers, activists, and others.

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