Steganography is the science of hiding secret data inside larger and harmless looking files, like picture, sound, text, etc. For example, the hidden message may be invisible ink between the visible lines of private letters.
What are the advantages of Steganography over Cryptography?
Cryptography is the practice of securing the content of a message alone. On the other hand, steganography is concerned with concealing the fact that a secret message is being sent, as well as concealing the content of the message. Therefore, the intended secret message does not attract attention to itself as an object of scrutiny.
We’ve compiled a pretty useful list of multi functional steganography tools that will help you easily transmit your messages in a safe and secure way.
JHide is a small software application designed to hide sensitive files within custom images. The pictures that contains the private files can be opened with the same dedicated viewers, sent via emails, or printed. In order to decrypt the file one need to specify the host image and the correct password. Moreover, the software comes with an intuitive layout that gathers all configuration settings into a single window.
QuickStego allows you to hide text in pictures so that only other users of QuickStego can read the hidden secret messages. The larger the image, the more text can be concealed within. It will tell you how many characters of text you could lose if you go over a certain limit per picture. It does not encrypt the secret text message, though it is well hidden in the image.
BMPSecrets has a rich functionality to store different files in different pixels of one image. You can replace up to 60 percent of picture with information and the human eye will not be able to recognize the difference.
27. Image Steganography (Online Tool)
StegaMail is small, fun program that makes it easy to hide text messages in an image file, and retrieve the text hidden by other people. It uses links to send pictures to email program and can open any picture to look for encoded image. The tool includes image, email address and keyword list management.
HexaStego–BMP is a very small steganography tool (only 10KB in size) for hiding a message in unrelated information. It can hide relatively small files (around 50KB) within .bmp graphic file. The image is slightly altered throughout the process, and this change is only noticeable if the modified and original files are viewed simultaneously. The hidden file can be extracted using the same utility.
Trojan is simple-to-use software utility that lets you make messages secret by embedding them into pictures. They are password protected so you will need the right key to decrypt them. Although it doesn’t integrate sophisticated features, Trojan does it job quite well without putting a strain on the overall computer performance.
Hallucinate lets you select the file that you want to hide inside of an image. Items can be imported in the working environment using pre-built button. You are allowed to set the image quality, import custom images, view information about the available and needed size values, and output file format. The final images are not large in size so they do not raise suspicions to other users. On the downside, the tool does not support password protection.
Crypture is command line steganography tool that lets you hide your secret data file inside BMP file. It encrypts the message using 1024 bit key and stores files in Windows bitmap files. Data header is encrypted and scattered as well.
21. Image Steganography
Image Steganography lets you embed text and files into images with optional encryption. It uses 2 techniques to embed files into image – Difference mode (compares each pixel, computes the difference, and turns it back into a byte) and Enlarge mode (outputs picture 4 times bigger than the input picture). AES encryption is used before embedding the data into an image.
SteganPEG is a lightweight software application that allows you hide sensitive data inside JPG image, and encrypt data by setting up password as well as insert multiple items to be hidden in the photos. You can also compress the files before hiding, so that more number of files can be hidden. The program has a simple interface and offers only a few configuration settings to tinker with.
19. Portable SteganoG
Portable SteganoG allows you to hide any file inside a picture with BMP format. In order to hide the data, you need to enter the password that will decrypt the item via SteganoG. You can also store the software on other storage unit like USB flash drive, and run it on any machine. More importantly, no files are left behind on the hard drive or in the Windows Registry after program removal.
rSteg comes with minimalist design that offers only a few configuration settings. You can manually type the text message, set up a password and select an image from your machine. The new image that contains the private information, could be exported to PNG format to preferred location on the disk. The decryption process can be carried out successfully by entering the correct password along with target image.
17. Steganographic Decoder
Steganographic Decoder is an online tool to decode the payload that was hidden in a JPEG image or a WAV or AU audio file. You will be asked to save the resulting payload file to disk. The tool uses steghide program to perform steganography, and the files generated are completely compatible with steghide.
Hide&Reveal is a Java library primarily developed for scientist wishing to experiment new hiding techniques or steganalysis on various carriers. It uses all algorithms provided by the org.steganography library. The pluggable algorithms and carrier types are dynamically loaded at execution time using an XML configuration file validated with XMLSchema.
As the name suggests, DeepSound hides secret data into audio files. You can protect any file, regardless of their type, by embedding them into FLAC or WAV audio tracks. It uses AES256 encryption and supports password protection. Also, output settings can be configured when it comes to the saving directory, password protection and audio quality (low, normal, high).
14. Red JPEG
Red JPEG, as the name implies, made in red style to hide any data in JPEG image via copyrighted steganographic techniques. It uses open encryption algorithms, stream cipher AMPRNG and Cartman II DDPA in hash mode, and the LZMA compression.
StegoStick allows you to hide any file into any file. It is based on audio, video, image steganography that hides any message into various image, audio and video formats, or any other file format like PDF, EXE, CHM. You can select from 4 types of encryption techniques – RSA, DES, Triple DES, and Default.
Steghide is able to hide information in various kinds of image and audio files. The color and sample frequencies are not changed thus making the embedding resistant against first-order statistical tests. The tool supports encryption as well as compression of embedded data. Also, you can embed a checksum to verify the integrity of the extracted data.
11. Steghide UI
As the name suggests, Steghide UI is an interface created for Steghide command line tool. This interface gathers all the features of the original program and puts it into 2 tabs where you can initiate the process of disguising your files and extracting them. More importantly, the tool supports no less than 16 different encryption algorithms, and for each of them you can define a mode of operation.
10. ImageSpyer G2
ImageSpyer G2 lets you hide data in image using modern steganography techniques, and the data will be encrypted by two layer cryptographic protection, which includes over twenty block ciphers and powerful stream cipher to encrypt stego. Besides solid cryptographic security, it has several privacy settings, without knowing that an attacker cannot figure out the presence of hidden information.
OpenPuff is steganography and watermarking tool that lets you hide data in more than a single carrier file. It is capable of storing up to 256 MB of encrypted data using an invisible copyright mark in audio, image, video and flash files. The software implements 3 layers of hidden data obfuscation: Cryptography, Whitening and Encoding.
Hide’N’Send uses modern steganography algorithms – LSB and F5, along with their options and matrix coding. These source code hide information directly inside the image instead of hiding in file structure. AES, RC2 and RC4 algorithms can be used for encryption, and encryption key derives from the user password with the help of one of the following hash functions – SHA512, RIPEMD and MD5.
7. DeEgger Embedder
DeEgger Embedder enables you to select a host file where you can conceal the sensitive data and pick the private items that you want to hide. It comes with several dedicated parameters that help you activate the read-only mode for the current file, select between different embedding modes, opt for a parallel embedding, hide files in multiple hosts, and modify the timestamp. However, on the downside, it doesn’t support compression mode and password protection, so others may alter your configuration.
DarkCryptTC supports more than 100 symmetric and asymmetric cryptographic algorithms. The tool comes with its own plug-in system for block cipher (BlockAPI), text, graphic and audio steganography. Also, it supports password based encryption and RNG-based random data distribution.
OpenStego is an open-source tool distributed under GNU license. It provides 2 functionalities – data hiding and Watermarking, which helps you hide any data within a cover file and watermark files with an invisible signature that can be used to detect unauthorized file copying. Moreover, it supports password-based encryption of data for additional layer of security. It uses DES algorithm for data encryption along with MD5 hashing to derive the DES key from the password provided.
StegoShare allows embedding of large files into multiple images. It supports maximum hidden file size up to 2GB, and number of cover image in the set up to 65536. The tool uses 128 bit encryption and has an average capacity of 40%, which means, 10 MB file could be embedded into 25MB image. However, the cover file manipulation algorithm used is based on fixed location LSB insertion that makes its output pictures detectable to most steganalysis software.
Anubis is format independent tool, which means you can hide anything behind anything else. It’s a java-based application and you can select encryption or decryption from the interface. It supports all image, audio, video and document file formats.
Steg is a encryption program specialized in hiding data inside images. It’s a cross platform tool written in C++, which enables it to work with almost all image formats. The dual display mode allows you to check out a preview of the original and modified file. You can zoom in or out, and view information about each photo. Moreover, you can hide random noise within images, embed a custom text, as well as use alpha and RGB channels.
Other important feature worth being mentioned enables you to generate RSA key-pairs, which can be exported to DER, B64, HEX, or RAW file format.
1. SSuite Picsel Security
SSuite Picsel is a portable application that uses stenography that encrypts all plain text messages or text files with just one click of a button. It uses image as a key to encrypt secret message – no password necessary. All you have to do is ensure the other party has the same original image that you have when sending the encrypted image to them. This original image will be the key in unlocking your secret text message. To further enhance the security you can mix and match different types of images.