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*To*: [email protected]*Subject*: Re: more steganography talk*From*: Peter Wayner <[email protected]>*Date*: Sat, 5 Mar 1994 08:30:44 -0500*Cc*: [email protected]*Sender*: [email protected]

On Fri, 4 Mar 1994, Jim Miller wrote: > In my mind, the perfect steganography system depends upon either an > environment containing ubiquitous random bit sequences or a > reversible algorithm that can transform non-random bit sequences into > random bit sequences without using encryption (unlikely). Such is the function of Mimic, available at ftp.cs.cornell.edu in /pub/wayner/Mimic It holds the most promise for steganography, in my oppinion. Unfortunately, it may be difficult to implement, initially. Sergey ------------------------ Sorry to be so distracted. This is a very interesting topic for me, but I've been bogged down with more prosaic topics. I think the Mimic FUnction implementation that I did is a very general standard for steganography. On the current level, it just deals with text, but you can make it do bits by just using the alphabet of just plain {0,1}. Here are the important points about it: 1) If the grammars are made complex enough, they can simulate anything you can compute with a computer. I.e. You can encode data in a Turing-complete way. 2) Even if you limit yourself to plain old context-free grammars, you still have a class of encryption functions that can be as powerful as RSA. I.e. You can show that any general program that can infer the grammar used in a Mimic function can also break RSA. This proof is done by translating RSA encryption into a context-free grammar. 3) If you use Turing-complete grammars, then the result is technically "undecidable." I.e. it may be technically "unbreakable." I don't put much stock in this claim, but it is interesting to note that there is _no_ possible brute-force attack on these systems. I do believe, though, that there could be many practical "incomplete" attacks that worked in general cases. 4) It is still unclear how to generate RSA-level strength with Mimic Functions. The simplest way may be just to encrypt with RSA first. Understanding what makes grammars hard and easy to grok is a hard question. 5) That being said, I think that Mimic grammars are one of the most natural ways to specify steganography. There are many other forms that are Turing-complete, but I think that grammars are one of the most natural ways to specify what you want to happen. 6) The process is slightly difficult to implement, but I've got two running versions (as I've mentioned before on the list). One in C and the other in Pascal. Your choice if you live in the Continental US. It is not clear to me if the software is "exportable". I considered applying to the commerce department to get a free assessment of the cryptographic strength, but then I found out that they were denying licenses to systems that I could break. So they're not a great oracle for these questions.

**Follow-Ups**:**Re: more steganography talk***From:*Sergey Goldgaber <[email protected]>

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