1996-03-04 - art-stego

Header Data

From: jim@bilbo.suite.com (Jim Miller)
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: d5103d1377dc3ea2d9cb36ecaf0d1ec3cb95646c06a37de4cc551d265a8a010a
Message ID: <9603041921.AA08825@bilbo.suite.com>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1996-03-04 23:05:39 UTC
Raw Date: Tue, 5 Mar 1996 07:05:39 +0800

Raw message

From: jim@bilbo.suite.com (Jim Miller)
Date: Tue, 5 Mar 1996 07:05:39 +0800
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: art-stego
Message-ID: <9603041921.AA08825@bilbo.suite.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

The recent discussion "Chaff in the Channel" got me thinking about an  
alternative to hiding random bit streams in picture files.  The goal of  
steganography, as I see it, is to provide plausible deniability.  The  
problem with hiding bit streams is that you can never be sure if the  
opponent has developed an analysis technique to prove a particular file  
contains a suspicious bit pattern.

The alternative to hiding bit streams is to not hide them.  Use them to  
generate pretty pictures.  For example, modify a fractal image generator  
to accept a bit stream as input.  Use the bit settings to influence the  
values used to iterate the fractal function.  You don't have to use  
fractals, any function that produces pretty pictures would probably work  
as long as there was a way to extract the bit stream from the final  
picture.  Brute force would probably work fast enough for humans.

One possibility is a screen saver that produces an "infinite" variety of  
pretty pictures by generating a pseudo-random bit stream and using it to  
help generate the next background picture.  Occasionally, the picture  
might be so cool you will want to send it your friends or post it on the  
Net or just keep it around to look at.

The goal is to create an innocent reason for passing around unique images  
that contain random bit streams so we don't have to worry if somebody  
finds the bit stream.  If you live in a country that doesn't outlaw  
abstract art you have plausible deniability.