AiS Challenge Team Abstract


Team Number: 022

School Name: Bosque School

Area of Science: Computer Science

Project Title: "Waiter! There's a message in my soup!"



Our project will revolve around steganography -- the hiding of information within a medium, such as images, .wav's or MP3s, to be extracted at its destination. The information is hidden within the least-significant portions of the file. The goal of our project is to create a program that will be capable of scrubbing files of hidden information, eliminating the need to detect it beforehand. This process will damage the hidden information, if not completely destroy it.

Initially we will only focus on image files, most likely JPEGs. Our first step in destroying the hidden information is to completely wipe all of the least significant bits (LSBs) of the image, destroying the hidden information, but degrading the image quality. Because the ability to detect and destroy hidden information is dictated by encryption method, our next step will be to focus on different encryption methods in order to decide the best way to permanently destroy the disguised information. Next, we will work with distributed bits -- as opposed to information clumps -- which will make the message more difficult to detect, and then use steganalysis to solve the inherent problems associated with these bits. Our final steps will be to write algorithms to destroy the hidden messages without further degrading the image quality, and to statistically analyze the image degradation. From that point, if we have the time and resources to do so, we will work with other media and file types.

This project is important because possible enemies of the United States, such as terrorist groups, may be using steganography to transmit messages across the Internet. On top of steganography, these groups are very likely using standard encryption methods. this mix of steganography and cryptography makes these messages nearly impossible to monitor, or even detect. We will look for the most efficient methods for our program to damage or destroy the hidden information so that the receiving party is unable to decrypt it.

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