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Journal of Information Science and Engineering, Vol. 35 No. 4, pp. 871-886

A Homophone-based Chinese Text Steganography Scheme for Chatting Applications

1Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering
2Department of Electronic Engineering
Ming Chuan University
Taoyuan, 333 Taiwan
E-mail: {syhuang; pshuang}@mail.mcu.edu.tw

Text messages can be used as the cover media for data hiding and a form of camouflage for securing secret messages. After data hiding, embedded secret messages can be correctly recovered by data extraction techniques. This paper presents a novel technique for hiding secret information into Chinese-based text messages used for public chat rooms via the selection of homophones. Using the application of chat rooms, users are allowed to generate and correct typing errors. Plausible variations of homophone selection (typing errors) can be adopted as a codebook for hiding secret data. Experimental results have shown that the proposed approach provides an effective way to embed secret data into chat text messages that is not readily detectable. The study concludes that public chat rooms can give a confidential and secure real-time communication channel using the proposed method.

Keywords: Chinese homophones, data hiding, hidden text, steganography, chat rooms

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