Are there cryptographic schemes that make encrypted traffic look like unencrypted traffic?


1 Answer 1


Well there is Steganography like Richie said in the comments it is essentially the art of hiding messages. This being said it is not comparable to any encryption algorithm (like AES) security wise. Though there are tools for steganography which requiere keys so they encrypt data before they hide it but this is not the essence of steganography since steganography is only about hiding the message.

If you are looking for a way to hide your messages this would be sufficient, if you want to properly encrypt it you can do that before hiding the message.

If you're looking for only an algorithm which mutates a text to a different text i'm afraid your out of luck. a home brew of a pseudo random pad where you make the key in such a way the words change like this:

plaintext: Welcome
key: kkdbnma
cipher text: Goodbye

Though this is insecure, it might be fun to play around with but it is not to be used in real life situations!

EDIT: as pointed out Robert NACIRI there is also the use of subliminal channels as described by this wikipedia article. As it suggests it hides messages inside normal communications, read it through for examples and a better sense of how this works. It's quite interesting.

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    $\begingroup$ On another hand, it is usefull to mention cryptographic protocols that mask encrypted trafic. This correspond to the notion of subliminal channel developped by Gustavus Simmons. $\endgroup$ Mar 2, 2015 at 10:40
  • $\begingroup$ I take it you're reffering to this [link]en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subliminal_channel ? I will add it to my answer, i did not know about this, very interesting thanks for pointing it out. $\endgroup$
    – Vincent
    Mar 2, 2015 at 10:53
  • $\begingroup$ Absolutely. it has given rise to quite subtle problems in their time. I was fortunate to attend GS's lectures on the subject at the end of the 80s $\endgroup$ Mar 2, 2015 at 11:20
  • $\begingroup$ Re: "it is not to be used in real life situations": I posted this question because there are countries that censor encrypted traffic, so it certainly would have real-life applications. $\endgroup$
    – Geremia
    Mar 2, 2015 at 15:13
  • $\begingroup$ I was reffering to the OTP adaptation, since it's not a OTP it's weak and it can probably be broken easily though, obviously, if people aren't looking for decrypting something since they think it is decrypted it wouldn't really matter but that's security through obscurity which every crypto.stacexchange user can tell you is not done :P But yeh it's fun to play around with but this OTP scheme i told you still isn't feasible since you'd have to think of a way to secretly hand someone the key, if you could do that you could just give them the message since you need the message to get the key. $\endgroup$
    – Vincent
    Mar 2, 2015 at 16:01

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