P. Andriotis, T. Tryfonas, G. Oikonomou, T. Spyridopoulos, A. Zaharis, A. Martini, I. Askoxylakis, "On Two Different Methods for Steganography Detection in JPEG Images with Benford's Law", in Proc. 7th Scientific NATO Conference in Security and Protection of Information (SPI 2013), Brno, Czech Republic, pp. 3-14, 2013
The practice of steganography, which in a computer context usually means manipulating multimedia content to embed hidden messages, may be used by criminals worldwide to facilitate their communication instead of, or complementary to, encryption. There is even speculation that global terrorist groups have been using steganography to communicate in covert ways. This paper will introduce steganography and discuss practical aspects of its detection. It will also discuss two recently proposed methods for detecting whether hidden messages exist in JPEG images using Benford's Law. The Law describes the logarithmic distribution of leading digits in sets of naturally set numbers and has been used with success in detecting financial fraud and election rigging in the past. The first approach examines the lead digit distribution of the raw contents of the bytes of a suspect image, whilst the second examines the distribution of lead digits of quantised discrete cosine transform (DCT) coefficients of the JPEG encoding. Both methods produce fast and credible results and are supported by open source toolkits that can be used by law enforcement and investigative authorities worldwide.
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