Steganographic checks in digital forensic investigation: A social networking case
Edith Cowan University
Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science
ECU Security Research Institute
Steganography is an ancient art that has received a mega boost in the digital age. Electronic communications are easily accessible by most people and have a wide range of opportunities to embed secret messages in a diverse range of cover objects. Our research questions were: What can an investigator do to check for hidden messages in social media? And, how much searching is enough? The testing was conducted in replicated social networking sites and digital images were selected as the cover objects. The research findings showed that steganography is as easy as sending an email and not much more difficult than downloading and using one of the many steganographic tools available online. Our advice is that investigators do check for hidden messaging in digital media and that the best practice guide developed be used as a minimal baseline.