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Crytography Vs Steganography

Hai! Today we would discuss about the differences between steganography and cryptography. You may refer this previous posting as a brief introduction to Steganography. 

Introduction to Steganography

Okay! how about Cryptography?

Cryptography was popular with the jargon text which is only can be conceal with its secret key. Only the one that can break the secret key and resolve the jargon text into a readable message can have the secret message. 

In this case, the jargon text which is unreadable text such as ” hfuiafuwefhw” for example is call a ciphertext. They was publicly exposed to everybody during transmission or communication. Which create suspicious and this make anyone would like to decode it. If we compare it with the text steganography, the message is readable and unsuspicious. Since everyone can read, encoding text in neutral sentences is doubly effective. Only receiver know what the secret message written.

Ok now, I give a clearly example. You as the receiver, I give this key as a clue to conceal the secret text message. In the above paragraph, I did a simple text steganography.

Clue: In the fifth sentence. Combine each 1st letter to create a secret sentence. 


Fifth sentence:

Since everyone can read, encoding text in neutral sentences is doubly effective.

Combine each 1st letter to create a secret sentence. 

Since everyone can read, encoding text in neutral sentences is doubly effective.

secret inside

This is the simplest way to explain what is steganography and the difference between cyrptography.

There was much more interesting information I would like to share with. Stay tune with my next posting.



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Multimedia Security

When we talk about Multimedia security, commonly, it is related to intellectual properties and copyright issues. Today, information technology emerges widely in many sectors, including business and corporates. For the industry to successfully deploy any multimedia media services, it is crucial to ensure multimedia data’s confidentiality, integrity, and availability. Therefore, Multimedia Security plays such an important role to guard valuable data.

The most popular method and commonly used in Multimedia security is digital watermarking. This technique was derived from the basic steganography model, which sits under the sub-discipline of information hiding. 

Stay tuned for more detailed information about multimedia security in my next posting 🙂


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Steganography was a very uncommon and unique sub discipline in Information Security. It is unlike their famous cousin, Cryptography – always gets the spotlight. Yup, it even gets the most credit in many well-known Hollywood movies. I am sure that almost everyone has watched the Da Vinci Code movie, am I right?

14 years ago, It is a year I decide to pursue my Master of Science by research. I met my supervisor, Professor Ramlan Mahmod, and voiced out my intention. When I proposed this topic to him, it was such a nerve-breaking feeling. Why? Steganography is such a baby area (in Malaysia), and this field does not have much expertise in Malaysia. His PhD student and I were the pioneers for this field in UPM.

Nevertheless, I took it as a challenge ^^, and I signed an agreement to complete the research till PhD. There was no U-turn for this agreement~ haha. Yet, I never regret it.

What is this so unfamiliar jargon? Let’s dig deeper.

Steganography is an art of science which existed a long time ago, before the century. But it was not in the Dinosaur era ya, of course. The word Steganography was derived from ancient Greek. Stegano means hiding, and graphy means images. Therefore, the meaning of Steganography brings to “hide into an image”. Surprisingly, this method is commonly used for military purposes.

Throughout history, Steganography was used to send a secret message and to have a secret communication. The first example of this ancient technique was used by a Greek general who wrote confidential information on the shaved head of a trusted messenger and sent him to the receiver once his hair had fully grown back to hide the message completely.

This technique has crossed my mind, which during my childhood, I had a sort of similar secret communication role play. We used lime juice ink, refilled the ink pen, and then wrote a secret message on a piece of white paper. If you look into it with naked eyes, the paper appears to be blank – nothing was written there. However, if you hold it up under the sun and see through it, the written secret message will appear. Aha! Things are getting more exciting, right? 🙂

These are some stories from the past that I want to share, which are related to Steganography in the force and military area:

The technique has evolved over time, and during World War 2, the German army used invisible ink to write secret information in their covert communications. The fundamental of steganography elements comprises a secret message and a cover medium in which various techniques are used to embed the former into the latter. The steganography media will be the result of the combination between the secret message and the cover medium. Then, the secret communication is completed by sending the steganography media to the other parties with a key or technique to reveal the secret message. Only the recipient knows the keys or the technique used to conceal the secret message. On the other hand, the stego object has to have a high degree of perceptual transparency not to raise any public suspicion during transmission. [1]

Today in the digital era, the medium for hiding the secret message has been digitalized. Secret communication is now in the form of multimedia. It can be digital text, images, sound (audio) or even animation (video). The most popular technique is hiding digital text into digital images by using a specific algorithm. This is what we call the beauty of art and science 🙂

The following figure is to illustrate the basic diagram for the new modern Steganography simply.

Figure 1 : Modern Steganography (Source: N. A Roslan, 2018)

However, what the difference between steganography and cryptography? Read over my next posting for more eureka information!

See you! Bye 🙂

References: N.A Roslan, 2018, “Character Properties Method with Biometric Multifactor Authentication for Arabic Text Steganography”, Doctor of Philosophy, Universiti Putra Malaysia