Forwarded from: Dan Verton <Dan_Vertonat_private> FYI...from Ross Anderson University of Cambridge Unfortunately, the story that bin Laden hides his secret messages in pornographic images on the net appears to be too good for the tabloids to pass up. It appears to have arisen from work done by Niels Provos at the University of Michigan. In November last year, he wrote in a technical report that he could find no evidence that messages were being hidden in online images. By February this year, this had been been conflated by USA Today, an American popular paper, with an earlier FBI briefing on cryptography into a tale that terrorists could be using steganography to hide messages . Similar material has surfaced in a number of the racier areas of the net , despite being criticised a number of times by more technically informed writers . Dan Verton: I would add that this analysis is consistent with intelligence analysis that shows al Qaeda to have shifted the bulk of its C2 to non-technical means in order to avoid U.S. surveillance. Although, stegonography makes good technology copy -- just a thought from a former intelligence officer turned technology journalist :-) InfoSec News <isnat_private> on 10/08/2001 04:09:19 AM Please respond to InfoSec News <isnat_private> To: isnat_private cc: (bcc: Dan Verton/Computerworld) Subject: [ISN] Internet proves easy way for terrorists to communicate http://www.nandotimes.com/technology/story/125043p-1308529c.html By LISA HOFFMAN, Scripps Howard News Service (October 6, 2001 2:12 p.m. EDT) - To terrorist cells such as Al Qaeda, a picture on the Web can be worth a lot more than a thousand words. Employing the 21st century version of a concept as old as secrets themselves, alleged terrorists affiliated with Osama bin Laden are believed to have exploited the vastness of the Internet to hide messages between conspirators in what amounts to plain sight. According to declassified intelligence reports, court testimony and computer security experts, bin Laden's network has been a pioneer in adapting the ancient art of steganography to the Internet. U.S. officials and high-tech researchers seeking to counter such techniques are scrambling for methods to detect or derail them. Online steganography - derived from the Greek words meaning "covered writing" - essentially involves hiding information or communications inside something so unremarkable that no one would suspect it's there. It's the cyber-equivalent of invisible ink or the "dead drops" that spies use to pass secrets. [...] - ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org To unsubscribe email majordomoat_private with 'unsubscribe isn' in the BODY of the mail.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Tue Oct 09 2001 - 07:01:11 PDT