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How can i hide data (steg) in Adobe Flash?

Posted on 2011-03-09
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
I am doing research on hiding data in Adobe Flash in SWF files in any way possible, from action scripts, embeds, xml, or active-x.  Including detecting these potential embeds..

If you know any tricks or have any insights into this i would be thrilled and will assign full points.

Thanks
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Question by:rissmacx
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7 Comments
 
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noci earned 250 total points
ID: 35095219
For steganography you need fuzzy data. ie. if data is imprecise it should not matter....

f.e. Color nuances are fuzzy (so you can hide data to some extend in a jpeg), just don;t use a picture multiple times (ie also not publishing am original).
You can define a much higher resolution version in the color spectrum than can actualy be seen. So you can slip in bits which are
humans can distinguish about 64 levels of color shades at most. So having a space of 256 levels gives you room to fix 2 bits per pixel that go indistinguishable. (24bit colourspace)

Structured data is a problem. The only imprecise stuff in a programming language/xml is the naming of constants & variables.
But if you change them in one part you need to change it in a lot of parts in a consistent way, otherwise it could be detectable wit a simple build task...?
but do you get enough free bits with that? At least variable names need te be meaningless rather long names to start with...

At least in a movie you might get more bits as the stream has a lot more bits i.e. you can use less bits per image which would avoid some detection.

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by:btan
btan earned 250 total points
ID: 35114526
Some thoughts:
a) maybe layer hiding as in the real data is in the embedded images and video stream or keys to decrypt the hidden data is in the embedded images.
b) at times, I also see it as injecting additional frames into the video stream - all black but in bits and byte with varied grays of black (to naked eye is still black)
c) thinking whether having mosaic type of images with bits spread through out will help or apply for video stream frames - meaning regular pattern occurences or encoding in each sub images. See http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.135.6853&rep=rep1&type=pdf
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Expert Comment

by:noci
ID: 35115011
There should be no pattern in it...
make a movie with images of old-school analog tv-sets that only show white noise...
That could be ideal stuff to hide things...
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Author Comment

by:rissmacx
ID: 35117387
I appreciate everyones comment. However, i thoroughly understand the basics of embedding data in the least significant bit in standard image file formats, and sound formats.

I am mostly interested to see if there is a way that Adobe Flash can be used completely independent from any external embeds.

Simply put, can a a simple flash movie be used to hide data? and if so, how?

It could be through action scripting as well, but i am researching all options.

thanks
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Expert Comment

by:noci
ID: 35118219
Well a movie is a sequence of (partial pictures) ... ==> you can use each picture as a part of the pool to hide data in.
How can you change an action script without compromising your message & still keep it functional equivalent to a working script.

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Expert Comment

by:btan
ID: 35119514
the pattern will not be ideal for hiding due to its regularity. I see it more of security through obscurity - set of decoding method which only the trusted parties know how to derive - that is set of pattern (or I should say) of codes/steps.

I see the video stream as possible channel to input the information - maybe at every frames, a specific position (or look up) in each has the byte changes to what you want to transmit across. not sure if that will trigger any integrity but doubt so as it can be seen as "noises" on the channel. The pix-elated spot in each frame may not be obvious ....

actionscript can be gotten by decompiling the SWF, so hiding in the codes strings etc may not be ideal. Also thinking whether flash metadata can be used to transmit the information, maybe translate duration, size decimal into hex byte, duration of flash represent specific information, links in the script are encoded .....
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Author Closing Comment

by:rissmacx
ID: 35178314
no one knows.
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