Steganography is the science and an art of hiding information by embedding messages within other, apparently harmless Messages.it is protection or covering a file, image, pictures, message, or a video within another file. Steganography camouflages information or data hiding it and making sure that it is not detectable by even using a code breaker. Cryptography is a study and practice of scrambling a message so that it cannot be read for secure communication in the presence or third parties. It also ensures information security, data integrity, confidentiality, authentication and non-repudiation of information. Steganography is advantages over cryptography that the intended secret messages do not attract attention to itself as an object of scrutiny. Steganography is sometimes used where encryption is not permitted (Easttom, 2013).
There are examples of how steganography and encryption were used before the advent of computers. First, there were messages hidden inside tablets that are waxy in the ancient Greece. Persons wrote notes on wood, and then they were covered with wax where innocent covering letters were written. Second, messages were hidden on messenger’s body; it was used in ancient Greece where the slave head that is shaved was tattooed. The message was then hidden by growing hair and only exposed by cutting the hair on the head again. Third, the French who were resistant sent information written on a courier’s backs using an invisible ink during the World War II. More so, messages were hidden in a paper noted in a secret ink beneath other communications or on a blank part of other communication. Furthermore, some notes were written on the envelopes in a place covered by stamps for postage. In addition, printing press in earlier days mixed different fonts on the printed page to hide the message using two or more diverse fonts such as italic or normal (Newman, 2009).
Steganography or encryption can be used legitimately to cause problems to the computer forensic examiners I several ways. It is the role of the computer forensics examiner for both anti-terrorism investigations and law enforcement to steganalysis. They are supposed to detect and recover the hidden information or data. The concern is that steganography or encryption is being used to protect communication amongst the criminal conspiracy. It also hides communication channels such as commercial sexual exploitation of children. In addition, law enforcement concerns involve the use of steganography by manufacturers and distributors of children pornography to hide and to exchange child pornography (Easttom, 2013).
Easttom, C. (2013). System Forensics, Investigation and Response. Burlington: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.
Newman, R. (2009). Computer Security: Protecting Digital Resources. Burlington: Jones & Bartlett Learning.