Introduction to Information Hiding

As audio, video, and other works become available in digital form, the ease with which perfect copies can be made, may lead to large-scale unauthorized copying which might undermine the music, film, book, and software publishing industries. These concerns over protecting copyright have triggered significant research to find ways to hide copyright messages and serial numbers into digital media; the idea is that the latter can help to identify copyright violators, and the former to prosecute them.

At the same time, moves by various governments to restrict the availability of encryption services have motivated people to study methods by which private messages can be embedded in seemingly innocuous cover messages. There are a number of other applications driving interest in the subject of information hiding and we will describe some of them in this chapter to show how broad this topic is. But before doing this, we will introduce the main subdisciplines of information hiding related to computer systems and give a brief history of this fascinating area of research.

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