We will learn about Steganography; outcome- will know the basics and disadvantages of Steganography and will understand the difference between cryptography and steganography.


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In steganography we are not going to do encryption rather we are going to conceal the existence of the message. That means we are going to hide the existence of messages in other forms. So here we are not going to encrypt the message rather we are going to hide the message. So as mentioned this is not an encryption scheme may be any approach may be a substitution technique or a transposition technique whatsoever wherein steganography, we are not going to do encryption. So obviously we are not going to get the ciphertext rather we are going to hide the message.

Difference between Steganography and Cryptography

We know encryption is a key part of cryptography where cryptography renders the message unintelligible to the outsiders by various transformations of the text. What do we mean by these various transformations, the encryption algorithms will convert the text that is their plain text or the message to an unintelligible message which is the ciphertext? so that if the outsider sees the unintelligible message which is a ciphertext, the outsiders will not be able to understand what the message is.

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So, it is very clear that steganography is not cryptography because steganography is not going to do encryption. One simple steganographic technique I will explain you now, just see here simply encrypt correct reading exactly twice actually this example has steganography method involved. Just see this example and find out is their message which is hidden here. There is a secret message which is hidden here. Let me show that now, can you see secret is the information which is hidden SECRET. So the message which is hidden is the 1st letter of every word is taken and that gives readable text which is a secret text or a secret information in this case. You can send your confidential message like this so that the outsiders will not be knowing about what it is. They will simply see that there is a message, but they may not be aware of that the first letter of every word will constitute the message which is the hidden information. So, there is a hidden message which is secret here.

Steganography Techniques

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Steganography has been used historically, there are many techniques that were used. Number one is the character marking in character marking technique let us take either a printed text or a typewritten text. Say in this text the selected letters of either printed text or typewritten text is overwritten in pencil. When you overwrite something on pencil normally this overwritten text will not be visible unless the paper is held at some angle to bright light. So, messages were hidden on the printed text or a typewritten text but only the sender and receiver know at some specific angle only the overwritten text will be visible to bright light.

Let us see the second one which is the invisible ink, some chemicals or natural substances can be used for writing text or the information which is the secret information. Then this technique will leave no traces of the written text until some heat, or some chemical is applied to the paper. So, this is an invisible ink steganography technique.

Let us see the third technique which is the pin punctures normally small pink punctures on selected letters or not visible. The text will be visible only when the paper is held up in front of her light. So, this is the pin puncture technique.

Let us see the 4th Steganography technique which is the typewriter colour ribbon they say there is a type of material and normally there will be some spaces between the lines. why these places will be there between the lines, just for improving the reliability. Normally this is used between lines type with a black ribbon and the results of typing with the correction table are visible only under a strong life. So, this is also a Steganography technique but if you are not here these are all steganography techniques that are applied historically. But what about in computer system or network security.

Steganography Drawbacks

Steganography can be applied to the security aspects of the computers and network as well. that Steganography can be used in computers as well, but this Steganography has some drawbacks. Let us see what they are,

Number one a lot of overhead is involved in hiding their text because see if it is an encryption scheme where the encryption algorithm will be converting the plaintext into ciphertext with the help of a key. We are going to hide the information in some form so that involves a lot of overhead. At the same time any system once if it is discovered it becomes virtually worthless. It is obvious it is not only with Steganography. Any secure system if the key is discovered or the ciphertext is discovered or the concept what is deployed for hiding the information is discovered obviously it becomes worthless but still we can deploy Steganography in a much powerful manner. We can first encrypt the message and then hide the message using steganography so this will be giving better results when compared to either steganography or cryptography. So, we are combining both cryptography and steganography to provide better security.

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