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# How to hide information in an xml document in plain sight

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posted on May, 14 2011 @ 10:47 AM
Stenography

Steganography is the art and science of writing hidden messages in such a way that no one, apart from the sender and intended recipient, suspects the existence of the message, a form of security through obscurity.
en.wikipedia.org...

There are many ways to hide information in an xml document. I would like to post my favourite (plain sight) method for consideration.

1. Convert your message to a number
2a. For each prime factor, factor the exponent
2b. Repeat above until all exponents are 1 or 0 at every level
3. Create an xml document whose structure maps to the tree created in step 2
4. Fill your xml document with a distraction data set

Example:
1. Pass secret message of 8
2. 8 = 2^3^1
3.

4.

Example:
1. Pass secret message of 20
2. 20 = 2^2 * 5 = 2^2^1 * 5^1
3.

4.

There are just a few rules need to handle the tree.
if the factor is p^0 and p< the max prime factor of N then p is represented as a single empty node.
If the factor is p^1 then there will be a single empty node inside the p node.
if the factor is p^1 and p=max prime factor of N then p can be represented by a single place-marker empty node.
if the factor is p^n where n>1 then factor n and repeat above for the inside node.

Because of the Fundamental theorem of arithmetic, each xml document is 1 to 1 with the integers I believe.
en.wikipedia.org...

Although I do not know of a name for this method, it seems best suited for passing small secret messages in plain sight (such as dates) and could be used in social media situations with the aid of support software.

edit on 14-5-2011 by GalacticJoe because: (no reason given)

edit on 14-5-2011 by GalacticJoe because: problem with img files

posted on May, 14 2011 @ 11:02 AM

I've done something similar before and it works.... good post OP, S&F.

posted on May, 14 2011 @ 11:21 AM
why not just hide your pron in an archive shaped like a jpeg.

EFFORT SUCKS!

edit on 14/5/2011 by badw0lf because: too many woudltn know, too many will

posted on May, 14 2011 @ 11:55 AM
Seems easier to me to simple Binary Encode the message (even if it is an xml Element) and then nest it in an XML element with some obscure name like "patient image".

edit on 5-14-2011 by rogerstigers because: I was reandomly selected for enhanced security screening by the spelling nazi's

posted on May, 14 2011 @ 11:58 AM

Well, it is just one method among many, but it does not place any restrictions on the maximum number of nodes allowed inside each node.

posted on May, 14 2011 @ 01:41 PM

Originally posted by GalacticJoe

Well, it is just one method among many, but it does not place any restrictions on the maximum number of nodes allowed inside each node.

I have node idea what you're talking about.

You're either a computer genius who has been held captive for 30 years in a russian lab, who has escaped and is now freelancing on the run, OR

A LIAR, LIAR LIAR LIAR, A GOD DAMNED LIAR!!! he is you know, I spoke to his mum the other weak LIAR LIAR, FLAMIN' LIAR!!!!

It is hard to choose...

posted on May, 14 2011 @ 04:55 PM

It would be simpler to just re-arrange the records in the XML in a way where the first few bits of the first letters within each tag could be used to encode a message, or something silly like that. I personally prefer image-based steganography - hiding messages using a few bits in a alpha channel on a PNG for example + encryption of the data with AES. Then you create a fake Facebook post and post all those wonderful pictures of you and your fake wife in your fake vacation while hiding the blueprints for your time machine in plain sight!

posted on May, 14 2011 @ 06:18 PM

Originally posted by bonekeeper

It would be simpler to just re-arrange the records in the XML in a way where the first few bits of the first letters within each tag could be used to encode a message, or something silly like that.

I agree, this method is easier. In this case, constraints are placed on the data values, but not the structure of the document.

In the case presented here the structure of every xml document will map to a unique message but the data values are not constrained.

Of course, with a deep xml tree, the 'value' of the xml document would increase very quickly to thousands of decimal digits and beyond.

As an example, below is the 'value' of a large xml document that I must interact with due to new government mandates. These mandates are related to the health industry. Exactly how many digits this number has I am not am not sure, but it fully represents the structure of the original xml document and it uses only prime numbers.

2^(2^(2^7 * 3^17 * 5^5 * 7^(2^29 * 3^23) * 11^2^29) * 3^(2^(2^11 * 3^7) * 3^(2^29 * 3^5 * 5^19 * 7^5 * 11^5) * 5^(2^(2^11 * 3^29) * 3^(2^29 * 3^5 * 5^19 * 7^5 * 11^5) * 5^2^29 * 7^(2^(2^(2^11 * 3^29) * 3^(2^37 * 3^5 * 5^17 * 7^29)) * 3^(2^(2^103 * 3^7 * 5^17 * 7^5 * 11^5 * 13^3^3 * 17^53) * 3^(2^(2^3 * 3^(3^19 * 19^7 * 79) * 5^7 * 7^5 * 11^5 * 13^53)))))) * 5^2^5)

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