Data Hiding for Text and Binary Files

Data Hiding for Text and Binary Files

Hioki Hirohisa (Kyoto University, Japan)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2217-3.ch016
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This chapter presents an overview of text-based and binary-based data hiding methods. Text methods, through which secret information is embedded into innocent-looking textual data, are mostly used for steganography. Binary methods are applied to program binary codes: executables and libraries. In binary methods, information is embedded into a binary code so that its functionality is preserved. Data hiding methods for binary codes have been studied intensively to perform watermarking for protecting software from piracy acts. A message can also be embedded into a binary code in a steganographic manner. Another method is also introduced, which is proposed for enhancing the performance of an executable file.
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Text Data Hiding Methods

Text data hiding methods are mostly used for steganographic purposes. Text steganographic methods are not limited to digital texts. Steganographic methods have been studied from ancient times.

It has been reported that (Bennett, 2004) digital text steganographic methods include format-based and linguistic methods. In format-based methods, existing text is modified but retains visible characters. Modification is made independent of the textual content. Linguistic methods are those exploiting linguistic knowledge for embedding information. Embedding is done by either modifying the existing text with considering its content or by generating text that looks plausible to the reader.

In this section, before discussing the topics of digital text steganography, several classical steganographic methods are described. Then, the principles of format-based and linguistic methods used in digital steganographic methods are reviewed. Methods for non-documental texts—such as program sources and game logs—are also reviewed.

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