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What is Steganography?

Protecting valuable data is the central element of all cybersecurity strategies. Realizing this, many cybercriminals have resorted to unorthodox methods of stealing data. One of the primary tactics of hackers is intercepting various forms of communication. Organizations communicate through email, direct messages, text messages, and phone calls every day. When cybercriminals infiltrate these lines of communication, they are able to steal credentials needed to access data without being detected.

To combat this hacking scheme, many organizations have adopted steganography to send secure messages. Steganography is the practice of hiding private messages within a common interface. Steganography can involve hiding a secret message within a document or image. Steganography can also involve hidden messages in spreadsheet documents or emails.

Today, Steganography is commonly used through the embedded code of documents or images. Secret text is hidden behind the public facing message or image and only visible when pulling up the embedded coding. While steganography can be used by organizations for safety, it can also be used by hackers for deception and data stealing.

How Hackers use Steganography

Instead of hiding a message in the code, hackers use steganography to hide malicious attacks or malware. This allows cybercriminals to disguise malicious code in various documents and applications. Once users open the compromised document, a hidden PowerShell script is automatically unleashed. The script installs an app to the computer that typically goes unnoticed by antivirus applications and firewalls.

The best way organizations can defend against malicious steganography is reliance on a strong team of cybersecurity analysts to identify potential threats. Users must also be cautious when receiving suspicious messages with attachments. Before opening documents, users should double-check the sender to ensure that the sender is actually who they claim to be.

Summary:

Organizations communicate through email, direct messages, text messages, and phone calls every day. When cybercriminals infiltrate these lines of communication, they are able to steal credentials needed to access data without being detected. To combat this hacking scheme, many organizations have adopted steganography to send secure messages. Steganography is the practice of hiding private messages within a common interface. While steganography can be used by organizations for safety, it can also be used by hackers for deception and data stealing. The best way organizations can defend against malicious steganography is reliance on a strong team of cybersecurity analysts to identify potential threats.

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