Concealing a Message in an Image with Steghide

Follow the steps below to embed a concealed steganographic message within an image file and extract it again using Steghide.

1. In any convenient location, create a new directory named “SteghideTest”.

2. Download Steghide. Steghide is a free and open-source steganography utility by Stefan Hetzl. Steganography is the concealment of data within other data. As of this writing, the latest version of Steghide is available as a .zip file at the URL http://steghide.sourceforge.net/download.php. Steghide is available for several operating systems; these instructions assume a Microsoft Windows platform.

3. Extract the Steghide .zip file to any convenient directory.

4. Locate “steghide.exe” and any .dll files in the directory to which Steghide was extracted, and copy them to the the newly created SteghideTest directory.

5. Obtain or create an image file in .jpg format, and copy it to the SteghideTest directory. Rename the file “ImageOriginal.jpg”. Note that Steghide supposedly also works with certain audio files, though only .jpg image files were tested for these instructions.

6. Still in the SteghideTest directory, create a new text file named “MessageToEncode.txt”, containing the following text:

This is a test!

7. Still in the SteghideTest directory, create a new text file named “Steghide-EncodeAndDecode.bat”, containing the following text

set password="ThisIsATerriblePassword"
copy ImageOriginal.jpg ImageEncoded.jpg
steghide embed -cf ImageEncoded.jpg -ef MessageToEncode.txt -p %password%
steghide extract -sf ImageEncoded.jpg -xf MessageDecoded.txt -p %password% -f
type MessageDecoded.txt
pause

8. Run the newly created “Steghide-EncodeAndDecode.bat” script. Verify that a new text file named “MessageDecoded.txt” was created in the SteghideTest directory, and that it contains the text “This is a test!”.

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