Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Stealth Data: A New Dimension In PC Data Protection

20.01.2010
Researchers at St. Poelten University Of Applied Sciences Develop The First Viable Steganographic Solution For Windws.

Data can now be protected better than ever before with the Windows operating system, without leaving the slightest trace or giving away the tiniest hint of its existence.

As part of a research project, the Institute for IT Security Research at St. Poelten University of Applied Sciences has developed the first viable Windows-based solution for concealing stored information. The solution will improve data security for governments, companies and private individuals. The project has also produced systems to defend against attacks using steganographic methods.

There are various ways to keep data on a PC hidden from other users. Conventional methods include access restriction and encryption. However, there is a distinct disadvantage to these options. For hackers and others like them, they are an open invitation to take their best shot. Indeed, the realisation that something is protected often acts as a provocation to breach this protection. Steganography - the science of storing or transmitting information secretly - offers a means of removing this provocation. It can be used to ensure that the very existence of specific data remains undetected, thus avoiding any "invitation" to hack into it. Other users have no idea that data is protected as they are completely unaware that the data exists in the first place.

The research project StegIT - Research, Design and Prototype Development of Anti-Steganographic Solutions for Internet Telephony (VoIP) - run by St. Poelten University of Applied Sciences has now developed Europe's first viable steganographic solution for the Windows operating system. It allows the "perfect" concealment of data and prevents its subsequent discovery. This development opens up a whole new range of possibilities that promise major opportunities in areas such as national security and data protection on the Internet. However, it also brings risks should the system fall into the wrong hands for example.

SWALLOWED BY THE HARD DRIVE
Prof. Dr. Ernst Piller, head of the Institute for IT Security Research at St. Poelten University of Applied Sciences, explains exactly how the steganographic solution for Windows works: "Steganographic methods are used to store an entire file system, including files on the hard disk or a memory stick, in existing image or music files so that they are virtually invisible. This file system initially appears on the computer as a virtual storage medium, for example drive F, and can be used in the same way as any other storage medium. As soon as the drive is closed, it disappears and can no longer be found. Not even IT forensics can find it. It only reappears - seemingly out of nowhere - when the software is launched. What's more, it can only be launched when the user is aware that it is well hidden somewhere on the PC and knows where and how to find it."

The tool developed by St. Poelten University of Applied Sciences represents the first ever practicable steganographic solution for Windows. It also opens up significant opportunities for national security. For example, it can be used to ensure sensitive personal data is protected from unauthorised access far better than ever before. Similarly, the tool also offers a means of securely protecting sensitive data in countries where there are restrictions or bans on data encryption. This is of particular interest to companies that operate in such countries. However, in a world that is becoming networked ever more closely, the stenographic tool also unlocks new opportunities for personal security. For example, it can help to protect sensitive data stored on a home PC from being attacked by hackers.

MIND THE "CRIMINAL MINDS"!
However, the comprehensive StegIT project is not geared solely towards making steganography available for active use in legal applications. Another of its key aims is to provide protection from criminal steganography-based attacks, as Dr. Piller explains: "It is only by acquiring the relevant know-how and making the technical advances in steganographic solutions - as in the case of the Windows application - that we can properly research and implement a defence against criminal activities." In addition to developing the new Windows application, the StegIT project - which is being supported by KIRAS, the Austrian Security Research Programme - has also created viable systems to defend against attacks that employ steganographic methods. This research work has recently earned international recognition that has placed the Institute for IT Security Research among the leading competence centres for steganography in Europe. And St. Poelten University of Applied Sciences is justifiably proud of this achievement.

For more information about steganography please visit http://www.stegano.org

About St. Poelten University of Applied Sciences St. Poelten University of Applied Sciences offers students vocationally oriented and academically sound training in the areas of technology, business and health and social sciences. More than 1,700 students are currently enrolled on a total of 13 courses. In addition to its teaching role, St. Poelten UAS is also very much involved in research. This scientific and academic work is carried out within the framework of the courses and in the university's own institutes, which are constantly working to develop and implement practical and application-oriented research projects.

Scientific Contact:
Prof. Dr. Ernst Piller
St. Poelten University of Applied Sciences Institute for IT Security Research Matthias Corvinus-Str. 15 3100 St. Poelten Austria T +43 / (0)2742 / 313 228 - 636 E ernst.piller@fhstp.ac.at W http://www.fhstp.ac.at W http://www.stegano.org
Copy Editing & Distribution:
PR&D Public Relations for Research & Education
Campus Vienna Biocenter 2
1030 Vienna
Austria
T +43 / (0)1 / 505 70 44
E contact@prd.at
W http://www.prd.at
----------------------------------------------------------------
Mag. Michaela Fritsch, MA
PR-Beraterin
PR&D - Public Relations für Forschung & Bildung
T +43 1 505 70 44
F +43 1 505 50 83
E fritsch@prd.at
Campus Vienna Biocenter 2
1030 Vienna, Austria
http://www.prd.at

Michaela Fritsch | PR&D
Further information:
http://www.stegano.org
http://www.fhstp.ac.at

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht A novel hybrid UAV that may change the way people operate drones
28.03.2017 | Science China Press

nachricht Timing a space laser with a NASA-style stopwatch
28.03.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Transport of molecular motors into cilia

28.03.2017 | Life Sciences

A novel hybrid UAV that may change the way people operate drones

28.03.2017 | Information Technology

NASA spacecraft investigate clues in radiation belts

28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>