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Example Programs

There are many free tools available online that allow one to hide text inside images using a password. Some of these tools include S-Tools, Steganos, Windstorm, Hide4PGP, and JPHS. We consider two programs that are legal and free downloads on the Internet.


JPHS stands for Jpeg hide and seek. The program by Allan Latham is designed to be used with JPEG files and lossy compression and is available in Windows and Linux versions. No installation is required. JPHS is made up of two programs - JPHIDE and JPSEEK - which allows you to hide a message file in a jpeg visual image. JPHIDE.EXE hides a data file in a jpeg file. JPSEEK.EXE recovers a file hidden with JPHIDE.EXE. For the Windows version, JPHSWIN.EXE performs the same functions as the two programs above.

JPHIDE and JPSEEK distributes the hidden file in the jpeg image so that both the visual and statistical effects are minimized. JPHS uses least significant bit overwriting of the discrete cosine transform coefficients used by the jpeg algorithm. Simple programs that store the hidden data in low order bits may result in the jpeg image being so statistically different from the normal jpeg file that the hidden file can be recovered easily.

JPHIDE uses the Blowfish crypto algorithm for least significant bit randomization and encryption to determine where to store the bits of the hidden file. The program asks for a pass phrase to initialize this process. Although the hidden file is "encrypted" by the software it is recommended that the hidden file is encrypted (by some other tool) before inserted into the jpeg file. Up to 10% can be inserted into a jpeg file with minimal visual and statistical effect.

If the original jpeg file is available then a hidden file can always be detected, although to extract the information one must know the stego tool used, and the pass phrase.

Test the program

  1. Download this file (180KB) if you are a Windows user. Otherwise, go to to download the Linux version.
  2. Have a jpeg image and a text file ready for use. Alternatively, you can download and use my image My jpeg, and text file My message.
  3. For Windows users, run the Jphswin.exe file. Accept the terms outlined. The following screen should display:

  4. Select 'Open jpeg'. Choose any jpeg image.
  5. Select the 'Hide' option. Enter the same pass phrase to both boxes, e.g. 12345. Choose any text file that contains the hidden message.
  6. Select 'Save jpeg as'. Enter a file name for the new image file.
  7. Now Select 'Open jpeg'. Choose the new jpeg file you saved in the previous step.
  8. Select the 'Seek' option. Enter the pass phrase you used, e.g. 12345, in both boxes.
  9. Enter a name for the recovered message file. Caution: provide the '.txt' extension in the file name.
  10. Go to the folder where you saved the recovered message file and click to view. The hidden message is displayed.

4t HIT Mail Privacy LITE 1.01

This tool is provided free of charge by 4t Niagara Software. The program is available at 1000 apps for Windows platform only.

4t HIT Mail Privacy Lite works with a number of popular image formats such as JPG, BMP, ZIP or HIT files. Data is sent and received encrypted. Unfortunately with the Lite version, there is a limit of 250 characters for the hidden message.

Test the program

  1. Download this file (930KB).
  2. Read the license.txt file before installing the program. If you agree to the terms of use, run the setup.exe file.
  3. After the install, the following screen should display when you run the application:

  4. Select an image by clicking the icon.
  5. Enter a password and confirm the password.
  6. Enter the secret message.
  7. You can save the encrypted message and image as a ZIP, HIT, or BMP file. (Note the significant increase in the size of the saved file.) If you save in a HIT format you can click on the file directly, enter the password to view the message (you must have the application installed). Otherwise, if the saved file is in BMP or ZIP format, you need to open the saved file from a running application, as in point 8 and 9 below.
  8. To recover the message, switch to view mode.

  9. Select the saved file by clicking the icon and open the file.
  10. Enter the appropriate password.
  11. Click the icon. The hidden message is decrypted and displayed in the text box.

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