FBI recently arrested Russian spies alleged of using high tech form of data concealment called steganography. These Russian spies hid a map of airport into an image which is available generally in public. Steganography is the science of concealing messages within images.
Although scientists have theorized this technique over decade ago but nobody has ever done this in public. Al-Qaeda being accused of using this technique to pass on their secret encoded messages but there are no proofs of it just rumors.
Here, we have court papers filed by the FBI under penalty of perjury that says these folks (Russian spies) were doing it. The threat, in other words, is no longer hypothetical said Steven Bellovin, a professor in the Columbia University department of computer science.
How it works
Exact details of what, or how they did it still remains classified by FBI but it works basically by changing the numeric values of colors behind image and it can easily store 1′s and 0′s of computer data. Below is the image used by Russian spies to hid map of an airport:
To generate the picture on a computer screen, the computer assigns every pixel three numeric values that correspond to the amount of red, green or blue in the color the pixel displays. By changing those values ever so slightly, the spies could hide the 1’s and 0’s of computer language in the picture’s pixel numbers, but without altering the picture’s appearance to the human eye, Bellovin said.