Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Dartmouth Researcher Investigates Digital Secrecy

Date:
August 24, 2001
Source:
Dartmouth College
Summary:
Hany Farid, Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Dartmouth College, is a modern-day Sherlock Holmes. Farid strives to unlock the mysteries of steganography -— hiding and sending secret information -— in the digital age.

HANOVER, N.H. – Hany Farid, Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Dartmouth College, is a modern-day Sherlock Holmes. Farid strives to unlock the mysteries of steganography -— hiding and sending secret information -— in the digital age.

Working with Dartmouth's Institute for Security Technology Studies, Farid focuses on scouring digital images for traces of hidden messages. His research, important to the legal community, aims to expose suspiciously altered images. People engaged in political and corporate espionage or illegal pornography, for example, have learned to send secretly embedded messages in their vacation or holiday photos through e-mail.

"The courts are terribly unprepared to handle the new breed of digital criminals that has emerged along with the rapid increase in low-cost and sophisticated digital technology. As the criminals get smarter, so must we", said Farid.

Steganography, the art of concealing and sending messages, has been around as long as people have had secret information to relay. This practice has come a long way since the days of letters with invisible inks carried by midnight messengers or encrypted Morse code delivered over secret radio frequencies. Computers and the World Wide Web provide a new twist on this covert activity. Today's digital cameras produce high-quality images, and the Internet easily and inexpensively carries enormous volumes of information worldwide.

"To expose modern steganography, the first step is to discover a way to detect if there is a hidden message embedded within an image. We can't yet decode the message, but we can flag an image as suspicious," said Farid.

A digital image is a collection of pixels, and each pixel contains numbers that correspond to a color or brightness value. With high-resolution images, it's easy to hide a message by slightly altering the numbers, called LSB, or least significant bit, manipulations. The changes to the image are imperceptible to the human eye, and the secret information goes undetected.

Employing the mathematics of wavelets, a popular method for compressing digital data, and progressive image coding, Farid's research began by characterizing statistical image properties that are consistent across most images. After embedding secret messages into the images, Farid showed that these same statistics are fundamentally changed. This process led to the creation of a computer program that can determine the likelihood that a secret message has been hidden within an image. So far, Farid's program is 90 percent accurate.

Farid's work also has applications in other fields. For instance, the technology could be beneficial in digital forensics, the science of authenticating digital material for use as evidence in court. The research might also assist art historians, collectors or gallery owners trying to detect art forgeries. Farid thinks that paintings can be scrutinized mathematically and compared to authentic paintings, to determine if the same artist created them.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Dartmouth College. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Dartmouth College. "Dartmouth Researcher Investigates Digital Secrecy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 August 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/08/010824081336.htm>.
Dartmouth College. (2001, August 24). Dartmouth Researcher Investigates Digital Secrecy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/08/010824081336.htm
Dartmouth College. "Dartmouth Researcher Investigates Digital Secrecy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/08/010824081336.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Computers & Math News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Families Can Now Ask Twitter To Remove Photos Of Deceased

Families Can Now Ask Twitter To Remove Photos Of Deceased

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) In the wake of a high-profile harassment case, Twitter says family members can ask for photos of dying or dead relatives to be taken down. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ballmer Leaves Microsoft's Board, Has Advice For Nadella

Ballmer Leaves Microsoft's Board, Has Advice For Nadella

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) In a letter to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Ballmer said he's leaving the board of directors and offered tips on how the company can be successful. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Google Can Gain From Special Accounts For Children

What Google Can Gain From Special Accounts For Children

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) Google will reportedly offer official accounts for children younger than 13 years old. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakingviews: Ebola's Economic Impact Could Eclipse SARS

Breakingviews: Ebola's Economic Impact Could Eclipse SARS

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 18, 2014) The virus ravaging Africa has yet to spread elsewhere. Yet Asia’s SARS crisis in 2003 showed how changes to behaviour can hurt the economy more than the actual disease, says Breakingviews' Una Galani. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins