Steganography is an ancient technique for communicating covertly. One of the earliest examples of steganography dates back to Ancient Greece, where Histiaeus, as a prisoner of a rival king, needed to communicate a secret message to his army. So Histiaeus shaved the head of a willing slave and tattooed his message on the scalp. Once the slave’s hair had grown back, he was sent to deliver the hidden writing in person.

Technological advances within the last two decades have given birth to the subject of digital steganography. Digital media such as audio and image files provide ideal containers for covert communication. Messages can be concealed in audio and image files by modifying bits that do not cause a noticeable difference to the image or audio file when viewed or played back.

Sharing videos online is a commonplace activity that millions of people engage in every day. In particular, HD video formats provide a huge data structure for containing covert information. Throughout this project I intend to explore and investigate different techniques for concealing messages in the audio and picture streams of video files. Steganalysis will then be used to evaluate the effectiveness of the different techniques.


The term 'steganography' first appears in the literature in 1606, in Steganographia by Johannes Trithemius.

The Student

My name is James Ridgway. I am a third-year undergraduate student at the University of Sheffield, studying for a Masters in Software Engineering. Steganosaurus is my individual dissertation project that I will be undertaking in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Software Engineering.

The Supervisor

This project is being supervised by Dr. Mike Stannett, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Computer Science. Research interests include: Logics of Relativity Theory, Hypercomputation, General Topology and Unconventional Computing.