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More Advanced Steganography and Steganalysis with Malware Applications

John Ortiz | March 25-26


Tired of the NSA reading your personal emails? Want to keep pictures of your ex on your computer? Need to exfiltrate data innocuously? Then this steganography course is for you! We will explore steganography well beyond the common Least Significant Bit techniques. Want to learn about jpeg hiding? We'll hide it many ways. Want to listen to a CD with megabytes of other data? We do the wave with you. Executables, video, and bitmaps too.

We'll learn about and apply steganalysis to demonstrate detection as well. This course introduces you to the concepts required for comprehending steganography such as data compression, information theory and entropy, human perception, digital imaging and audializaiton, and basic least significant bit hiding/detection techniques. Then it showcases more advanced steganographic and steganalytic techniques such as bit-plane complexity segmentation, high-capacity jpeg hiding, F5, and statistical hiding in audio and video along with corresponding detection techniques and malware applications. Emphaiss is on practical applications and implementation rather than "theory." Visual Cryptography is demonstrated as well. Scattered throughout are hands-on exercises with custom steganographic and steganalytic programs (including source code) that illustrate the various techniques and effectiveness of detection.

YOU can decide the effectiveness for yourself. Can you see it? Can you hear it? We shall see … or not!

Who Should Take This Course

Anyone interested in more advanced steganographic techniques and the underlying concepts.

Student Requirements

Basic knowledge of computers and digital imaging.

What Students Should Bring

A laptop with Windows XP or greater or a Windows virtual machine.

What Students Will Be Provided With

Printed copy of course slides and a CD with the various demo programs included.


John Ortiz is currently a senior computer engineering consultant for Crucial Security Inc. doing reverse engineering of exploit analysis. For two years, he provided cyber security services to the U.S. Air Force researching innovative network security protection techniques. Prior to working at Crucial, he spent five years at SRA International and five years at General Dynamics developing various defense related software, researching data hiding techniques, and analyzing malware.

In a second role, Mr. Ortiz developed and teaches a steganography course for the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). It covers a broad spectrum of data hiding techniques in both the spatial and transform domains including least significant bit, discrete cosine transform, echo hiding, hiding in executables, and hiding in network protocols. For the course, Mr. Ortiz developed several steganographic programs for testing and analysis.

Mr. Ortiz holds two master’s degrees from the Air Force Institute of Technology, one in Electrical Engineering and one in Computer Engineering and a BSEE from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.