Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Secrets Revealed!

I apologize for having you go through FileFront to download the .bmp images. You see, the secrets would be lost if the images had been converted to Jpeg. And, since .bmp files are large, I needed a free file server that didn't care about space or bandwidth.

Anyway, I've created a user-friendly image decoder that is now available for download. This one can be downloaded here: Link to Decoder. Unfortunately, this is only for those using Windows.


0) WARNING: If you click on the Decode button when the Base Image and Output Image fields are invalid, the program will crash. I have not put in any error handling in the code.
1) Browse for the .bmp files you downloaded (from here) as the Base image. For example, OceanScene.bmp.
2) Do a Save As and set an output .bmp file.
3) Click on the Decode button, and the output file is created.
4) Have a look at the unlocked secret image.

With more work, I should be able to get way better than 25 to 1 ratio, and also allow the embedding of generic files. Think about hiding an Excel or Word document in an image. The idea is that without knowledge beforehand that some secret data was embedded in the image, no one would even suspect anything was there. This would allow the data to be not only protected, but truly secret. At some point, I would also like to add a feature allowing you to further scramble the data using a password.

There are a lot of ideas to make this useful and better... just wanted all of you to have a first glimpse. The current encoding is rather unsophisticated, but as I mentioned, the beauty is that no one would really even look for any hidden data since it's a fairly standard picture.

The encoder is not ready for general use. I won't be distributing that until I feel it's ready. So for now, enjoy the decoder.

Would love to hear any and all comments.

Update: Two people have now told me that there's a word for what this is... steganography.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Neat idea. No comment on your choice of embedded pictures. Can you cater to more of a male audience? Gee.