maximum rate of any secure stegosystem. We introduce the concept of
steganographic key exchange and public-key steganography, and show that
provably secure protocols for these objectives exist under a variety of standard
number-theoretic assumptions. We consider several notions of active
attacks against steganography, show how to achieve each under standard
assumptions, and consider the relationships between these notions. Finally,
we extend the concept of steganograpy as covert communication to
include the more general concept of covert computation.
Steganographic \protocols" have a long and intriguing history that goes back to
antiquity. There are stories of secret messages written in invisible ink or hidden in love
letters (the rst character of each sentence can be used to spell a secret, for instance).
More recently, steganography was used by prisoners, spies and soldiers during World
War II because mail was carefully inspected by both the Allied and Axis governments
at the time . Postal censors crossed out anything that looked like sensitive information
(e.g. long strings of digits), and they prosecuted individuals whose mail
seemed suspicious. In many cases, censors even randomly deleted innocent-looking
sentences or entire paragraphs in order to prevent secret messages from being delivered.
More recently there has been a great deal of interest in digital steganography,
that is, in hiding secret messages in communications between computers.
The recent interest in digital steganography is fueled by the increased amount
of communication which is mediated by computers and by the numerous potential
commercial applications: hidden information could potentially be used to detect or
limit the unauthorized propagation of the innocent-looking \carrier" data. [continues]
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