Hide Data in Image, Audio and Video Files: Steganography

How to Hide Data in Image, Audio and VideoEver wondered to know how to hide secret data in image, audio and video files? Well, in this post I will take you through a concept called steganography using which, it is possible to hide your secret information in image files, songs or any other file of your choice. At the end of this post, you can also download free stegnographic tools and start hiding your data.

What is Steganography?

Steganography is a means of obscuring data where secret messages are hidden inside computer files such as images, sound files, videos and even executable files so that, no one except the sender and the receiver will suspect the existence of stealth information in it. Steganography may also involve the usage of cryptography where the message is first encrypted before it is concealed in another file. Generally, the messages appear to be something else such as an image, sound or video so that the transfer of secret data remains unsuspected.

The main advantage of steganography over other methods such as cryptography is that, it will not arose suspicion even if the files fall in the hands of a third party. Unlike cryptographic messages, stegnographic messages will no way attract the attention of a third party by themselves. Thus stegnanography has an upper hand over cryptography as it involves both encryption and obscurity.

What are the Applications of Steganography?

Steganography is mainly used to obscure confidential information/data during storage or transmission. For example, one can hide a secret message in an audio file and send this to another party via email instead of sending the message in the textual format. The receiver on the other end will decrypt the hidden message using the private decryption key. In a worst case scenario, even if a third party does manage to gain access to the email, all he can find is the audio file and not the hidden data inside it. Other usage of steganography include digital watermarking of images for reasons such as copyright protection.

Even though steganography has many useful applications, some may use this technique for illegitimate purposes such as hiding a pornographic content in other large files. Rumors about terrorists using steganography for hiding and communicating their secret information and instructions are also reported. An article claiming that, al-Queda had used steganography to encode messages in images and transported them via e-mails, was reported by New York Times, in October 2001.

How do Steganography Tools Work?

Stegnography tools implement intelligent algorithms to carefully embed the encrypted text messages or data inside other larger files such as an image, audio, video or an executable file. Some tools will embed the encrypted data at the end of another file so that there will be enough room for storing larger data.

There are many steganography tools available online but only a few are able to work flawlessly. I did not find any tool that worked perfectly on both small and large data. However, I have  managed to develop my own tool that can work perfectly on all types of files and all size of data. The tool is called “Stego Magic“. You can download it from the following link.

The zip file contains two versions of Stego Magic: One for encrypting the text messages and the other for encrypting binary files. StegoMagic_TXT can be used to hide text messages in other files such as an image or a sound file. StegoMagic_BIN can be used to hide one binary file in another such as an executable file inside an image or an image inside a video file.

With Stego Magic, there is no limitation on the size and type of the file that you are intending to hide. For example, you can hide a video of size 1 GB in an image of size 1 MB or hide an executable file inside a WORD document. The tool is pretty straightforward to use and requires no special understanding of the concept.

At the end of the encryption process, a secret decryption key will be generated and the same is required during the decryption process.

How to Use Stego Magic?

Suppose you want to hide a text message inside a JPG file:

  1. Place the JPG and the text file (.txt) in the same folder as that of StegoMagic_TXT.exe

  2. Run StegoMagic_TXT.exe and follow the screen instructions to embed the text message inside the JPG image.

    Please note that if you’re using Windows 7/Vista, right-click the file and select “Run as Administrator”. Otherwise the tool may fail to work properly.
  3. Note down the secret decryption key.

Now you can send this image to your friend via email. To decrypt the hidden message, your friend should load this JPG file onto the Stego Magic tool and use the secret decryption key.

I hope you’ve now understood what is steganography and how to use it to hide your secret data. For queries and feedback, please pass your comments.

104 Comments

  1. fred{nigeria-esut}
    October 28, 2011 at 3:46 AM

    Great post Tutor.. it worked…
    but does the size matters


    • Srikanth
      October 28, 2011 at 3:00 PM

      @ fred{nigeria-esut}

      Yes there will be an increase in the size. But it doesn’t matter as this is inevitable…


    • fitra
      January 13, 2013 at 11:05 AM

      @Srikanth

      Hi Srikanth, i’m really curious about something.. :)

      which one (LSB, algorithm & transformation, or spread spectrum) methode do U use for this software ?


  2. Shadab
    October 28, 2011 at 11:52 AM

    Nice tutorial………!!!!!!!! :-)


  3. uk-no
    October 28, 2011 at 4:44 PM

    I embed video file into image after extract, i cannot open video file and the size is less than the original…why this happen??


    • Srikanth
      October 28, 2011 at 5:35 PM

      @ uk-no

      May be the decryption key used is wrong!!! Try again


  4. pankaj subedi
    October 28, 2011 at 6:33 PM

    Well first of all thanks for updating this site. Your trick was really amazing, it worked .


  5. Sartaj
    October 28, 2011 at 8:00 PM

    Nice Post Man!!
    Long Time But happy For seeing this latest update
    Thanks.


  6. gdk
    October 28, 2011 at 8:21 PM

    absolutely rockin……its a gr8 effort put by u,danx!!!!!


  7. Mizero
    October 28, 2011 at 8:30 PM

    hey I really like your blog
    it has very much information that i like to use
    and you inspire me alot


  8. Hack Facebook Account
    October 28, 2011 at 8:57 PM

    Thank you for the information, very useful. I wait for the next information


  9. invisible risul
    October 29, 2011 at 12:13 AM

    Awesome tips! After long time u came back with a nice thing :)


  10. mann
    October 29, 2011 at 4:34 AM

    can u tell me wat is the logic behind it,& the way to check a file for hidden file.


  11. ABC
    October 29, 2011 at 9:40 AM

    Will u please give me Data Encryption Algorithm…


  12. ARPIT
    October 29, 2011 at 9:07 PM

    veryy gud….ntrsting


  13. Chammu
    October 30, 2011 at 1:43 PM

    Nice work….but i have a doubt….can we run the stegomagic in mobile phones


  14. Lonelywolf
    October 30, 2011 at 8:43 PM

    one question tutor

    After hiding a .JPEG in a .EXE file. Does the .EXE work ?

    Long time, i was waiting for a post.

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us


    • Srikanth
      October 31, 2011 at 12:03 AM

      @ Lonelywolf

      Absolutely Yes! The exe works just like before.


  15. Lonelywolf
    October 30, 2011 at 8:45 PM

    Really good post, keep up the good work.


  16. Stefanutz11
    October 31, 2011 at 12:45 AM

    Nice post man…Thcs


  17. MiniMite
    October 31, 2011 at 2:22 PM

    wow I really like this post but two questions, If i hide a .exe file in a jpeg for example, will email clients still see that you are trying to send a .exe? and also may i distribute this program? I don’t see any licence information with it?


    • Srikanth
      November 3, 2011 at 12:39 PM

      @ MiniMite

      Yes, you can hide an .exe file inside a .jpg and send it to anyone via email (email clients will not recognize this as an exe). I have tested this with gmail and it works fine. Regarding the license, you can share the tool with anyone as it is a freeware. Enjoy!!!


  18. Devinder
    October 31, 2011 at 4:50 PM

    really nice and real stuff


  19. Faisal
    October 31, 2011 at 10:15 PM

    Can u provide the source code of StegoMagic_TXT and StegoMagic_BIN.


    • Srikanth
      November 3, 2011 at 12:40 PM

      @ Faisal

      Sorry, I cannot :(


  20. mahendra chhimwal
    November 1, 2011 at 2:36 PM

    nice and important post…


  21. ADAM ERO
    November 1, 2011 at 2:51 PM

    MINDBLOWING POST…
    PLEASE KEEP POSTING LIKE THIS….


  22. Rajesh Kumar
    November 1, 2011 at 11:16 PM

    Hi author,

    Really your site is excellent with great information.
    I’m very much thankful to you for providing useful articles. I have one query, Can you say me which programming language plays main role for hacking and developing an cracking software’s like Key Loggers etc. I wanted to know what are the basic things and programming languages that are to be known for an hacker. Also i wanted to learn about programming and all, so please suggest me which language shall i choose for developing my skills.
    Awaiting for your reply!

    Thank You.


  23. susac
    November 2, 2011 at 6:04 PM

    why am i seeing this message ? i couldn’t make it please send me email if possible . susac_yuri@hotmail.com

    Invalid Filename/Error Opening the Specified File


    • Srikanth
      November 3, 2011 at 12:35 PM

      @ susac

      1. Make sure the specified file is in the same directory (folder) in which your StegoMagic tool is present.
      2. See to that you have typed the exact name of the file along with the extension. Eg: Filename.exe, Filename.jpg etc.
      3. If you are using Win vista/7 make sure that you’re running SegoMagic tool with amdin rights.

      I hope this should solve your problem :)


  24. divo
    November 3, 2011 at 8:00 AM

    cool!! honestly i’ve been waiting for your new pots..
    i am really a fan of you man,..
    uhm..
    anyway. i’m encountering a roblem right now,
    i can’t dispose an autorun virus inmy flash disk,
    aside from formatting it, what else i can do??
    ..thanks!


  25. Manas
    November 3, 2011 at 2:45 PM

    if i encrypt a .jpg file in a .mp3 file why dont i see the watermark of the image while the song is playing…


  26. Abdur Rahman
    November 4, 2011 at 7:34 PM

    I really Loved this Post. I Love You all the author and hackers, those who are posting on this portal.


  27. rana
    November 5, 2011 at 2:26 AM

    You made a terrific software…… i think it is my best downloaded software………….


  28. manoj
    November 5, 2011 at 1:35 PM

    nice post shrikant….. I hv been waiting for ur post since long, finally you posted….. keep posting such nice articles!!!

    and sorry for my bad English….@(^.^)@…..


  29. Alisa Malotra
    November 6, 2011 at 12:55 PM

    Good Posts Thanks


  30. Otota
    November 8, 2011 at 4:46 PM

    Wow, this is wonderful sir,kudos to you. Wel am a newbie to hacking, presently studying ethical hacking in d university, sir I wil realy nid ur help plsssss.


  31. anna
    November 9, 2011 at 2:34 PM

    hi-great tools rarely find freely on the web !


  32. anna
    November 9, 2011 at 3:21 PM

    hi

    i added an exe file to a jpg but it couldnt be run by double click on jpg? what is wrong with it ? did i have any mistake or it is impossible in this version ?

    with regrads
    anna


    • Srikanth
      November 11, 2011 at 12:49 PM

      @ anna

      If you hide a jpg inside an exe, of course you can run the exe. But if you hide an exe inside a jpg why would it run like an executable? The file just acts as if it is an image until you decrypt and extract the hidden exe file inside it. I hope you got the idea!!


  33. Daniel
    November 10, 2011 at 5:08 AM

    That’s a nice dev’t.Good Update


  34. aaa
    November 11, 2011 at 12:48 PM

    nice post but can u tell me how we hide exe file in jpg file via command prompt or other….i tried but it dont work..


    • Srikanth
      November 11, 2011 at 12:51 PM

      @ aaa

      You cannot do it using the command prompt. That is the reason why I have created this tool! ;)


  35. Rahul
    December 8, 2011 at 9:13 AM

    great work again this will help me in many ways thanx for the info


  36. ASHARAM SEERVI
    December 10, 2011 at 12:40 PM

    SRIKANTH SIR,
    I AM BIG FAN OF YOU,,,I LOVE THESE HACKING INFORMATION..THANK YOU FOR SUCH A GREAT HACKING INFORMATION..GREAT WORK ,,,,
    SOMETIMES,,I OPEN http://www.gohacking.com FEELS NERVOUS B’COZ OF NO UPDATION OF YOUR POST..BUT HEARTLY SAYING..HAPPY WHEN YOUR NEW POST ON MAIN PAGE..
    SO , KINDLY ACCEPT THIS REQUST FROM ALL TO UPDATE FASTLY THIS SITE…
    THANKING YOU..


  37. Hemanth
    December 14, 2011 at 11:02 AM

    hey this tool is really too good yaar please can you give the source code… pls pls pls pls pls pls pls pls pls pls pls pls pls pls pls pls pls…………


  38. akarshan
    December 14, 2011 at 7:23 PM

    stagomagic works on symmetric key cryptography…….
    bt it should use asymmetric keying system to be more secure ??
    bt the whole content ws gr888………..
    helped a lot gr88 job sir


  39. Suresh Krishna
    December 17, 2011 at 11:20 AM

    nice post :) :):)extremely ntrsting one:) :)


  40. Aditya
    January 10, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    Great it worked man.
    Thank u for ur post.
    Do you have more.


  41. Saver
    January 22, 2012 at 6:07 AM

    What if your program itself is injected with some codes that steal our information ? Never thought of that huh ?


    • Srikanth
      February 19, 2012 at 11:06 AM

      @ Saver

      Well it’s just a matter of TRUST!!!


  42. windurs
    January 22, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    keep it up dude…


  43. Animesh N
    January 31, 2012 at 10:40 PM

    Great post man…!
    You have done a great job..!
    keep coming up with softwares like this.. :)


  44. I'mLonely
    February 1, 2012 at 10:14 PM

    -i like your post ,really very informative..i want to know..
    1.Can we hide keylogger in image or video??
    2.if so ,will it run automatically if someone download it ??


  45. satyenhacks
    February 2, 2012 at 10:51 AM

    nice tips….I read about hiding in jpeg…but I wasn’t aware of hiding in Audio and video files..

    thank u for giving such useful tips.


  46. Awais
    February 12, 2012 at 7:00 PM

    Can you please provide the coding/ algorithm for this file.


  47. Lucifer
    February 12, 2012 at 7:57 PM

    hey good software
    can u plz provide me with the source code .


  48. Philosophi
    February 14, 2012 at 1:56 AM

    Hello, nice thing, but how to run exe whit extension Jpg ?


  49. shehan
    February 17, 2012 at 8:21 AM

    cooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool


  50. Sarang
    March 15, 2012 at 9:40 PM

    hi, gr8 Work friend.
    I have one command line method to add txt file into image.check this out

    c:\stago> copy /B source.gif+source.zip target.gif

    source.gif and source.zip should be in the same directory..
    But I don’t know how to extract it to get zip file back…
    Can you please tell me?


  51. harindra
    March 17, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    Can u plz provide me the source code of files in stegomagic.zip……


  52. Owaiz Khalife
    March 26, 2012 at 10:30 PM

    hi sir..
    am doin project on audio steganography and video steganography..
    will you please help me out with the source codes..
    plzzz..


  53. Samurai
    April 9, 2012 at 3:50 AM

    hi nice post but one question if you hide a 1gb file like a video in a 500 kb image and when you are uploading that file wouldn’t it take a lot of time?


  54. chris
    April 20, 2012 at 10:03 AM

    hey, Thanks for the info, but do you know of an app for Steganography on mac? ty


  55. Aditya
    April 24, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    If in case the unauthorized person comes to know about the password, then can we change the password of the same file?
    If yes, how?
    If no, then please add the feature to change the password with some security measure in the softwares.

    THANKS for consideration.!!


  56. yash
    April 28, 2012 at 11:58 AM

    hey i love this tutorial very much because it works….
    thnks alot and please create some more of this kind…


  57. henric
    May 1, 2012 at 7:29 AM

    you really are a computer genius, man


  58. Zaam
    May 10, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    Hey sirikant i love your site there is alot to learn from this site. i had always wanted to become a hacker but never found any help i really appericiate you.As you told to become a hacker we mus first buy the hackers underground hackbook, i have installed that book from inter net i just wanted to confirm that if i had installed the right book so i am postin some of its table of contents below. sorry to comment in this article but there is a problem iam not able to comment on your other articles plz tell me hw.

    A. Introduction………………………………………………………………………………….5
    1. How can I use this eBook?
    2. What is a hacker
    3. Hacker Hierarchy
    4. What does it take to become a hacker?
    5. Disclaimer
    B. Programming………………………………………………………………………………..9
    1. Do I really need it?
    2. Where should I start?
    3. Best way to learn
    C. Linux………………………………………………………………………………………….12
    1. What is it?
    2. Choosing a distribution
    3. Running Linux
    4. Learning Linux
    D. Passwords…………………………………………………………………………………..33
    1. Password Cracking
    2. Phishing
    3. Countermeasures
    4. More Programs


  59. Swathy
    May 16, 2012 at 11:36 AM

    @ Srikanth

    Is possible to rename this exe (StegoMagic_BIN)…?


    • Srikanth
      May 16, 2012 at 1:56 PM

      @ Swathy

      Yes you can rename it! No worries :)


  60. sudheer
    May 18, 2012 at 9:32 PM

    the best tutorials i had ever met


  61. Dumpty Driller
    July 20, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    Hi Srikanth! I used to do this for injecting files in image:
    Put the file(s) you wish to inject in .jpg file in same folder. (also put the .jpg in same folder).

    Put the Files to be injected in winrar archive. Now we have 2 files, .jpg file and .rar file

    In command prompt, locate the folder and type:

    “copy /b filename.jpg filename.rar” (ofcourse without quotes)

    And now the new file that is created will act as .jpg or image file.

    But i guess thats of very low level haha..
    Do you think we can send .exe files via email by my method?


    • Srikanth
      September 3, 2012 at 4:18 PM

      @ Dumpty Driller

      Yes we can send exe files via email by hiding them inside the jpeg files…


  62. Dumpty Driller
    July 20, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    Edit: there’s a + plus sign between filename.jpg and filename.rar :D


  63. Taimoor Ali
    July 29, 2012 at 8:45 PM

    Owsum wOrk dude….


  64. kaushikvaru
    August 15, 2012 at 5:27 PM

    It’s really nice to read your post


  65. ankur aggarwal
    August 23, 2012 at 9:53 PM

    sir i am doing engineer from it branch ireally love you practical utilisation of knowledge

    i wish our teachers could also think like you……


  66. pulus
    August 26, 2012 at 1:59 AM

    Srikanth, you are the bomb, i tried it and it work perfectly. you are my mentor. pls keep up the good work. You totally Rock.


  67. @Nazrin....@
    September 9, 2012 at 8:11 PM

    Awesome work dude…!!
    really appreciable 2 hide the important photos nd documents while sending:-)


  68. hellslay
    September 10, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    buddy u did a gud job..but it only helpful to secure text file or any small file..if u notice, u will see tht when we try to embed a mp3 file into txt file then it will work successfully but if u try to decrypt it, it will generate text file not the mp3 file..if m wrong then give me solution..


    • Srikanth
      September 11, 2012 at 8:43 AM

      @ hellslay

      No, it will generate the MP3 file itself back. Make sure that you give the extension .mp3 during the decryption process!


  69. pritish
    September 17, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    sir, im doing project on audio and video stegnography, can u plz sed me source code .


  70. Castor
    September 19, 2012 at 12:11 PM

    please,i can’t really mke it work. can you provide a video tutorial or pictures for instructions. i would really appreciate if you would do that. by the way, thanks in advance.


    • Srikanth
      October 26, 2012 at 5:22 PM

      Is you follow each steps carefully, it should work without any problem. I will also try to include a video for this post in the next few days.


  71. Jeevan
    October 6, 2012 at 12:18 AM

    hello srikanth

    can u tell how can we run the hidden file along with the visible file..?
    (Suppose the hidden file is a .exe file and i want to run it when the visible file is opened)


  72. madhav
    November 7, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    sir i will be more happy if you will tell me about a decompiler that can decompile , .exe to .c or .cpp respectively!!!!
    i for get the coding of my own program and i forget can u plz!!!!!!


  73. Fezan Qadir Bhatti
    November 19, 2012 at 12:37 AM

    Want to share the source code of this program with me, May i prove valuable to update this program. :)


  74. Geeta Solanki
    November 19, 2012 at 9:11 PM

    very NICE……….
    it is very simple…..:)
    thankx…..


  75. Vijay Anand
    November 29, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    hi srikanth,

    Excellent program.

    I have doubt . After hiding the file “B” in file “A” , file “A” size changed. Now i can retrieve file “B” as per your procedure . But can i retrieve the file “A” back to its original form.


    • Srikanth
      November 30, 2012 at 2:48 PM

      I personally consider the File “A” as a dummy file just to conceal the identity of the File “B” hidden inside it. So I did not bother much about what is going to happen to it’s size. However, it is still possible to retrieve the File “A” back in it’s original size but I have to include a separate module for that inside my program. So with my current program that is not possible.


  76. puspa
    December 13, 2012 at 6:36 PM

    hii sir,i have a problem when i run this tool it shows 3 option and enter ur choice..
    but when i try to do,it cann’t accept anything.what should i do?
    plz tel me


  77. sangeetha
    December 19, 2012 at 2:54 PM

    grt job dear………..u inspired me a lot………keep going al da best


  78. henock negash
    January 10, 2013 at 12:02 PM

    I really like this website please keep me informed about new hacking tricks available!


  79. Omar
    January 10, 2013 at 6:13 PM

    i want the file is not exe i want full project

    thank you


  80. vishwatek
    January 11, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    i have been reading your post from a long time they are good enough and upto the point they are all truth not fake one like others
    keep on goin sir.

    but i have a question regarding to internet download manager i hv done a sort of thing to get it for full but it was not fruit full
    i request u sir if u have any solution regarding with this problem please do a reply or post a blog for it
    i am waiting for your reply i hope u will:-)
    ………………..


  81. Know hacking
    January 19, 2013 at 12:29 AM

    A quite nice information. I was looking for it so long.
    A warm thanks for the article. Really Cool.


  82. here
    January 20, 2013 at 8:56 AM

    Have you ever considered about adding a little bit more
    than just your articles? I mean, what you say is important and all.
    However just imagine if you added some great graphics
    or videos to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with pics and clips,
    this blog could certainly be one of the greatest in its field.
    Very good blog!


  83. Abraham
    February 8, 2013 at 5:54 PM

    hi my friend…thanks for your effort for developing this blog and providing useful information to your friends…
    but i hace a question
    did anyone can find that a imah ( jpg) has a txt file inside it ?? how can i explore that ? if i send an email that contain a txt file inside a jpg file can they notice that or if they suspect can they check the file and how and with what tool ?
    thanks a lot again bro


    • Srikanth
      February 20, 2013 at 12:34 PM

      It’s not easily possible as the data inside is encrypted. In fact, most email providers like Gmail and Yahoo fail to detect it. So, you can easily transfer an exe file inside a jpg file via gmail using this trick.


  84. Cash Advance
    February 18, 2013 at 3:00 AM

    Appreciating the persistence you put into your website
    and in depth information you present. It’s great to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same old rehashed material.

    Excellent read! I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m including
    your RSS feeds to my Google account.


  85. Bilal
    February 19, 2013 at 1:37 AM

    hi sir,
    i have been following all of the instruction exactly as you told but it always gives me an of invalid file/error opening the file specified when i try to embed a txt file into jpg, what could be the problem?


    • Srikanth
      February 20, 2013 at 12:31 PM

      1. Make sure all the files are in the same folder as that of the “StegoMagic” tool.

      2. Make sure that you are typing the filename along with its extension. For example: image.jpg and not just image.


  86. henock
    February 19, 2013 at 4:37 PM

    after i encrypt the exe extension file or video file the dicrypted files won’t work(no use) and it is not because i get the password wrong i insert it as it is. please help it work correctly on the txt files.thanks!!!!!!!!!


    • Srikanth
      February 20, 2013 at 12:29 PM

      @ henox

      If you’re working on Windows 7/Vista, make sure that you run the tool as administrator.