Michal Wegrzyn informed me about new and interesting project on http://vsl.sourceforge.net/. That is new steganographic tool. Name of tool is Virtual Steganographic Laboratory (VSL). It is a graphical block diagramming tool that allows complex using, testing and adjusting of methods both for image steganography and steganalysis. VSL provides friendly GUI along with modular, plug-in architecture. Tool is very similar to CrypTool which has been described on this blog here.
Steganography is the art and science of writing hidden messages in such a way that no one, apart from the sender and intended recipient, suspects the existence of the message. That is a form of “security through obscurity”. The word steganography is of Greek origin and means “concealed writing”. Generally, messages will appear to be something else: images, articles, or some other covertext. It may be considered as kind of invisible ink between the visible lines of a private letter.
The advantage of steganography, over cryptography alone, is that messages do not attract attention to themselves. Plainly visible encrypted messages will arouse suspicion, and may in themselves be incriminating in countries where encryption is illegal. Therefore, whereas cryptography protects the contents of a message, steganography can be said to protect both messages and communicating parties.
Virtual Steganographic Laboratory (VSL) is simple, easy to use software for steganography, steganalysis and watermarking. It gives scientists and students a powerful tool for conducting wide range of experiments involving different types of message embedding, diverse attacks (employing image processing algorithms) and steganalysis with the use of popular methods. Due to its use of generics (and few other features) it requires at least Java 1.5 (5.0).
Primary interface of the VSL is a graphical block diagramming tool and a customizable set of block modules. VSL uses dynamic invocation, so any new module can be created, added and used along without recompilation of the application. Many steganographic applications are usually command-line tools or very simple GUIs which consist of one chosen method. VSL provides framework for complex yet simple to arrange experiments and methods testing. It can use many methods simultaneously and everyone can add a new one.
I see this as very promising project and will continue to watch its progress.