Quick definition:

Hiding secret messages inside what seem to be harmless messages is nothing new. The word steganography itself originated in Greece and means “covered writing”. During important historic events of our past, steganography was often used to trade personal secrets, plan covert operations and send political espionage information.

source: steganography

What is role of steganography in network security?


2 Answers 2


I’m not aware of any uses of steganography in network applications, and considering almost all of the networking protocols are open protocols, there’s little room for the application of it. If you need security, you use various forms of encryption.

That being said, the only example I can think of of steganography in modern days is, some printers also printing out some form of a serial code and timestamp in a (almost) hidden part of the printed out material.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ On balance, aren't most network protocols closed? Oracle RAC, Microsoft Domain & Outlook, Skype, VoIP etc. There are way more proprietary protocols that I can think of. $\endgroup$
    – Paul Uszak
    Commented Sep 17, 2018 at 21:09
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Most MS protocols are closed you’re right. However, major protocols are all open. $\endgroup$
    – zetaprime
    Commented Sep 18, 2018 at 6:33
  • $\begingroup$ Are you referring to the EURion constellation or printer tracking dots also called printer steganography yellow dots? $\endgroup$
    – David Cary
    Commented Sep 28, 2018 at 22:10
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @David Cary, yes I was referring to printer steganography, yellow dots $\endgroup$
    – zetaprime
    Commented Sep 30, 2018 at 6:19

Real usage of stenography is hiding the very existence of the message. An example; instead of sending the messenger with a letter, shave his head, write the message on the shaved head, and then wait for the hair to cover up the message and send the messenger.

So as you see, you can use Stenography to hide you communication.

In Today's security settings, stenography just an obscurity. If you want to keep your activity from eyes, even there is an encryption, use online encryption so that the two server always sending information. This is highly used in military.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Steganography does not fall in security by obscurity. Security by obscurity means basing de security of a system in keeping secret the system's design (as opposed to just keeping secret the key). $\endgroup$
    – Ginswich
    Commented Sep 16, 2018 at 21:19
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Yes the wording is not correct there, it is just as obscurity. $\endgroup$
    – kelalaka
    Commented Sep 16, 2018 at 21:29

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