9/10/2006 - Pentagon, Washington, DC 20001 - Steganography, Steganalysis, & Cryptanalysis - Briefed the Pentagon InfoSec, DoD, & Army (This presentation is Classified and only available upon request)
3/23/2004 - InfoSec 2004, Orlando, FL - Steganography Presentation
Throughout history, steganography has been the means for covert communications. From tattoos on a carrier's head hidden by hair to urine used as invisible ink, the art of steganography continues to evolve.
Current day techniques use steganography in digital form. Messages can be hidden in empty spaces found in a file. Other techniques involve modifying the Least Significant Bit or a digital picture.
The 9/11 attack heightened our awareness of steganography. It is well published that Bin Laden and his terrorist cells use steganography for communications. In fact, it was published in USA Today newspaper months before the actual attack.
Steganography is a huge subject of debate. It continues to thwart investigators and forensics specialists, because it is very difficult to detect. To add to the complexity, most messages are encrypted prior to hiding them in a picture.
On the flipside, it is an incredibly strong technique for private communications for the military and companies alike.
Hopefully research will allow us to detect and reveal these terrorist messages, yet also allow the military and companies to leverage the combination of strong steganographic and cryptographic algorithms.
The most traumatic experience of my life was being in NYC during the 9/11 attack. I was teaching right across the street from MadisonSquareGarden on 33rd. From a window, I witnessed the 2nd tower collapse and was totally horrified. I immediately cancelled class, and by the time I got to the street level, the area was in complete chaos. It was like an Armageddon movie. The streets were packed cars and people trying to get out of the city. Cell phones jammed, people screaming, and fighter jets flying overhead. I made my way back to my hotel on 55th.
Along the way, I witnessed a huge line of people filing out paperwork. I asked one of the guys what they were doing and he mentioned that they were standing in line to donate blood. I was amazed that while 2 million people were making their way out of downtown Manhattan, and few hundred people were risking their own lives to help the wounded. Absolutely amazing. It left me with a small glimmer of hope that day.
I was performing research in steganography prior to 9/11. Unfortunately, the predictions in USA Today - Bin Laden was using steganography to stage an attack against the US, came true. It was my experience from 9/11 that has motivated me to perform extensive steganalysis and cryptanalysis on steganographic programs. Hopefully, my research will shed light on the subject of digital steganography.