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Re: Hiding data in gzip files (forwarded)

[email protected] (-=[ Patrick Oonk ]=-) writes:

>The attached patches will allow you to hide information inside GZIP
>compressed files.


>gzip uses LZ77 which compresses data by storing length/offset pairs
>that refer back in the uncompressed data stream to previous
>occurrences of the information being compressed. gzip considers a
>length of 3 to be the shortest acceptable length. We allow gzip to
>find the length/offset pairs and then do the following.
>If the length is at least 5 then we subtract 1 and set bit 0 to the
>value of the bit that we need to hide. We have now hidden information
>in the length without pushing it beyond a valid value.  Drawbacks are
>a slight decrease in compression (very slight) since we have to
>disallow lengths of 4 and some of our meddling will decrease the
>actual matched length by 1. The hidden file is totally invisible to
>the normal operation of gzip, gunzip et al and (if encrypted) will
>only be visible to those in the know. When the "-s" flag is not used
>gzip performs as normal.

Doesn't this mean everyone can detect that data is hidden by decompressing
and recompressing? If the recompressed file is smaller, you know data was
hidden and it can be extracted using gunzip -s.

In contrast, data hidden in the LSB of sound samples or pictures cannot
be detected. The reason seems to be that gzip compression is non-lossy,
while most stego-tricks work by introducing a sight amount of noise-like
`damage' to the data used as hiding place. You need to loose a bit 
information to make room for the secret data.

So it's a nice idea but it doesn't really work....