Steganography is the art of hiding a message in plain sight. Modern steganographic tools that conceal data in innocuous-looking digital image files are widely available. The use of such tools by terrorists, hostile states, criminal organizations, etc., to camouflage the planning and coordination of their illicit activities poses a serious challenge. Most steganography detection tools rely on signatures that describe particular steganography programs. Signature-based classifiers offer strong detection capabilities against known threats, but they suffer from an inability to detect previously unseen forms of steganography. Novel steganography detection requires an anomaly-based classifier. This paper describes and demonstrates a blind classification algorithm that uses hyper-dimensional geometric methods to model steganography-free jpeg images. The geometric model, comprising one or more convex polytopes, hyper-spheres, or hyper-ellipsoids in the attribute space, provides superior anomaly detection compared to previous research. Experimental results show that the classifier detects, on average, 85.4% of Jsteg steganography images with a mean embedding rate of 0.14 bits per pixel, compared to previous research that achieved a mean detection rate of just 65%. Further, the classification algorithm creates models for as many training classes of data as are available, resulting in a hybrid anomaly/signature or signature-only based classifier, which increases Jsteg detection accuracy to 95%.
McBride, B. T., Peterson, G. L., & Gustafson, S. C. (2005). A new blind method for detecting novel steganography. Digital Investigation, 2(1), 50–70. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.diin.2005.01.003