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Hiding in Plain Sight: Steganography and the Art of Covert Communication [Paperback]

Eric Cole
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 11 2003
* Explains exactly what steganography is-hiding a message inside an innocuous picture or music file-and how it has become a popular tool for secretly sending and receiving messages for both the good guys and the bad guys * First book to describe international terrorists' cybersecurity tool of choice in an accessible language * Author is a top security consultant for the CIA and provides gripping stories that show how steganography works * Appendix provides tools to help people detect and counteract stenanography

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Review

“…an interesting read…”(PC Utilities, July 2003)

“…a very good book, giving cogent, lucid explanations…” (Technology & Society, 30 September 2003)

“…a good introduction to an emergent technology…” (ContentPeople, 19 September 2003)

From the Back Cover

Your hands-on guide to understanding, detecting, and using today's most potent tool for secret communication-steganography These days, encryption of confidential data and communications is an increasingly important part of doing business. But steganography can take data confidentiality to a whole new level, since it hides encrypted messages in ordinary-looking data files, making the very existence of the messages practically undetectable. Although steganography is not a new field and has played a critical part in secret communication throughout history, few people understand exactly how it works today. This detailed, practical guide changes that-whether your goal is to add an extra level of security to business or government communications or to detect and counter steganography when it's used by criminals or terrorists. By teaching you how to protect your vital data and detect information attacks against networks, Cole aims to expose security threats so you can take action to minimize the damage going forward. He explores such topics as: The basics of cryptography and digital water- marking, two companion technologies that are often used in concert with steganography Who is using steganography and some of the ethical and legal challenges our society faces when privacy and security collide The nuts and bolts of using steganography tools and transmitting hidden data over networks Methods you can use to crack steganography and cryptography 'Steganography in Action Stories'-fictionalized versions of the kind of secret communication scenarios Cole observed during his years working for the CIA and as a security consultant Ideas for keeping your own communications secure Where steganography is headed in the future The CD-ROM includes not only valuable original source code for steganography techniques discussed in the book, but also several popular steganography tools, and color versions of original and manipulated images from the book for you to compare.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Though security is nothing new, the way that security has become a part of our daily lives today is unprecedented. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
3.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars fun book June 14 2003
Format:Paperback
I used to alternate between reading a computer book and then another book for pleasure. These days I find myself reading computer books almost exclusively with most of them having to do with security. This book remindinded me of the days when I used to just read for pleasure.
Hiding in Plain Sight is very well written and fun to read. It's one of those books you look forward to reading every time you pick it up. It's written in such a way that the information in the books stays with you long after you read it. It provides a good introduction to cryptography and steganography. The book also comes with a CD with some sample stego tools on it. You can have a lot of fun playing with these.
The book is not an all encompasing steganography book. It does have about the right amount of technical information for most security professionals. If you are a security professional and are looking for something fun to read that will enhance your understanding of steganography and cryptography you will not be disappointed with this book.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Very bad indeed... Aug. 5 2003
Format:Paperback
I was pretty disappointed with this book. There aren't many books out there about steganography, so I was excited to see this one come out. Unfortunately, this book has so many errors in things like command line examples and even spelling and grammar that it made it very difficult to take the author seriously.
Aside from the mistakes, there is really very little real content. Most of the book simply walks you through publicly available freeware stego tools. Oh- and a third of the book is simply hardcopy printouts of the author's C code for his own stego tools, which is a complete waste since the stuff should just be on the CD (and I wouldn't trust code from any book written so poorly). I guess he needed to pump the book up to 300 pages.
If you are interested in steganography, run away from this one.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Very bad indeed... Aug. 5 2003
Format:Paperback
I was pretty disappointed with this book. There aren't many books out there about steganography, so I was excited to see this one come out. Unfortunately, this book has so many errors in things like command line examples and even spelling and grammar that it made it very difficult to take the author seriously.
Aside from the mistakes, there is really very little real content. Most of the book simply walks you through publicly available freeware stego tools. Oh- and a third of the book is simply hardcopy printouts of the author's C code for his own stego tools, which is a complete waste since the stuff should just be on the CD (and I wouldn't trust code from any book written so poorly). I guess he needed to pump the book up to 300 pages.
If you are interested in steganography, run away from this one.
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3.0 out of 5 stars decent intro, but not very deep June 11 2003
Format:Paperback
I'm familiar with crypto and steg and was hoping that this book would give some deeper insights into techniques for both stego algorithms and steganalysis. Unfortunately, it pretty much stays at the 101 level in all aspects. Many of the steg techniques that it presents source code for are trivial at best and it pretty much stays away from discussing or solving any of the really hard problems. Its a shame, too, because I get the feeling that the author knows enough to write about the more advanced topics, but just chose not to for whatever reason.
On the plus side, the example scenarios for using steg are interesting and fairly informative.
So if you know nothing about steg or crypto this book might be a good place to start, but if you already know what they are you probably won't learn much here.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Nov. 11 2003
By berg
Format:Paperback
I thought that this book was excellent. Normally I highlight specific parts of a book, but this book had so much good information I found my self needing to highlight nearly everything that I read. This book unlike most technical books that i have read in the past makes me want to continue reading, because right away you learn something new. I happen to think that stegonography and cryptography are two extremely interesting subjects. I could tell that the author was also very passionate about the subjects, wich made me even more interested in what i was reading. I reccommend this book to anyone interested in stego and cryptography.
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By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Henry Ford was once asked how he can manage an organization the size of The Ford Motor Company? He replied that he didn't have all the answers to all the questions but he did know who to call for the answers he required. As a key executive, I make decisions that require answers that are reliable and rich with content. Mr Cole has provided the answers I was looking for in his book: "Hiding in Plain Sight". I read the entire work in one sitting because its value to me grew with each page.
Thank You sir,
I look forward to your next publication.
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