Nowadays, data security is much of a concern and has turned out to be an absolute necessity. There are many different techniques of securing sensitive data like Encryption, Password Protection etc. and one such method is Steganography.
Steganography can be defined as a process of writing hidden messages in such a way that no one, except the sender and the recipient, suspects the existence of the message!
Even YOU can carry out this technique on your personal computer, without needing any special software! However, you need a File Archiver or Data compression software like WinRAR, Winzip, 7-zip etc.
Hide Important Data behind an Image
To perform Steganography on your Windows based computer, the steps are as follows:
1. Gather all your important or TEST files in a single folder and Archive them all using WinRAR:
2. Copy the generated compressed file (Tips.rar in our case) to a particular folder on your Hard Drive, say E:\Test\Hidden
3. Take an image (preferably JPEG) and copy it to the same folder i.e. E:\Test\Hidden. In our case, we used Test.jpg:
4. Open Command Prompt (MS-DOS) and go to E:\Test\Hidden:
5. Now type following command and press Enter:
COPY /b Test.jpg + Tips.rar output.jpg
You will now be able see a new image file output.jpg in E:\Test\Hidden. The file can be opened and viewed normally by any image viewing software, but the hidden data can only be viewed / extracted using WinRAR or similar file archiving software!:
How to decrypt steganographed JPG Image?
In order to view hidden data behind an image file, Right click on output.jpg >> select Open With >> Select WinRAR archiver:
You can also extract the data onto your computer hard drive by clicking on Extract to option present at the top of WinRAR’s User Interface:
1. Once you have successfully tested the above method, you can delete the original files, as all your data is perfectly hidden behind an image.
2. If you are using some other name for your folder and files, then replace Folder Location, Test.jpg and Tips.rar in following command accordingly.
E:\TEST\HIDDEN>COPY /b Test.jpg + Tips.rar output.jpg
3. Above method will increase the file size of the image file you are using. The final size depends on the size of compressed data you are trying to hide and the size of original image file.
4. Check out following video for visual representation of Steganography using above method: