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Unformatted text preview: ng with a cipher. 1.2 Steganography
Steganography serves to hide secret messages in other messages, such that the secret’s very existence is concealed. Generally the sender writes an innocuous message and then conceals a secret message on the same piece of paper. Historical tricks include invisible inks, tiny pin punctures on selected characters, minute differences between handwritten characters, pencil marks on typewritten characters, grilles which cover most of the message except for a few characters, and so on. More recently, people are hiding secret messages in graphic images. Replace the least significant bit of each byte of the image with the bits of the message. The graphical image won’t change appreciably—most graphics standards specify more gradations of color than the human eye can notice—and the message can be stripped out at the receiving end. You can store a 64-kilobyte message in a 1024 × 1024 grey-scale picture this way. Several public-domain programs do this sort of thing. Peter Wayner’s mimic functions obfuscate messages. These functions modify a message so that its statistical profile resembles that of something else: the classifieds section of The New York Times, a play by Shakespeare, or a newsgroup on the Internet [1584,1585]. This type of steganography won’t fool a person, but it might fool some big computers scanning the Internet for interesting messages. 1.3 Substitution Ciphers and Transposition Ciphers
Before computers, cryptography consisted of character-based algorithms. Different cryptographic algorithms either substituted characters for one another or transposed characters with one another. The better algorithms did both, many times each. Things are more complex these days, but the philosophy remains the same. The primary change is that algorithms work on bits instead of characters. This is actually just a change in the alphabet size: from 26 elements to two elements. Most good cryptographic algorithms still combine elements of substitution and transp...
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- Fall '10