How to Describe New Steganographic Techniques (Hiding Methods)

Typically, a researcher who discoveres a new way for data hiding implements her/his new method, tests it, and, finally, describes the new method in a scientific paper.

However, until now hiding methods in steganography have been described in arbitrary ways, making them difficult to compare. For instance, some publications describe classical channel characteristics, such as robustness and bandwidth, while others describe the embedding of hidden information.

Under the umbrella of this project, we introduced the first unified description of hiding methods in steganography (Wendzel et al., 2016). While the original scope of this paper was on network steganography, it can essentially be applied to all domains of steganography. Our description method is based on a comprehensive analysis of the existing publications in the domain.

When our description method is applied by the research community, future publications will be easier to categorize, compare and extend. Our method can also serve as a basis to evaluate the novelty of hiding methods proposed in the future.

An overview of how we propose the structure of publications that describe new hiding methods is shown in Fig. 1, which is explained in detail in the paper mentioned above.

Structure for describing hiding methods
Fig. 1: A simple way for structuring the description of a new hiding method (Wendzel et al., 2016)


S. Wendzel, W. Mazurczyk, S. Zander (2016): Unified Description Method for Network Information Hiding Methods, in: Journal of Universal Computer Science (J.UCS), Vol. 22, Issue 11. (This work proposes a method for the description of hiding methods in a unified and comparable structure.)


Multiple papers exist, where the unified description method was applied, but here is one recent one that is open access:

A. Velinov, A. Mileva, S. Wendzel, W. Mazurczyk: Covert Channels in the MQTT-based Internet of Things, IEEE Access, 2019.