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A Generic Taxonomy for Steganography Methods

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posted on 2022-07-07, 22:07 authored by Steffen WendzelSteffen Wendzel, Luca Caviglione, Wojciech Mazurczyk, Aleksandra Mileva, Jana Dittmann, Christian Krätzer, Kevin Lamshöft, Claus Vielhauer, Laura Hartmann, Jörg Keller, Tom Neubert, Sebastian Zillien

A unified understanding of terms and their applicability is essential for every scientific discipline: steganography is no exception. Being divided into several domains (for instance, text steganography, digital media steganography, and network steganography), it is crucial to provide a unified terminology as well as a taxonomy that is not limited to some specific applications or areas. A prime attempt towards a unified understanding of terms was conducted in 2015 with the introduction of a pattern-based taxonomy for network steganography. Six years later, in 2021, the first work towards a pattern-based taxonomy for steganography was proposed. However, this initial attempt still faced several shortcomings, e.g., the lack of patterns for several steganography domains (the work mainly focused on network steganography and covert channels), various terminology issues, and the need of providing a tutorial on how the taxonomy can be used during engineering and scientific tasks, including the paper-writing process.

As the consortium who published this initial 2021-study on steganography patterns, in this paper we present the first comprehensive pattern-based taxonomy tailored to fit all known domains of steganography, including smaller and emerging areas, such as filesystem steganography and cyber-physical systems steganography. Besides, to make our contribution more effective and promote the use of the taxonomy to advance research on steganography, we also provide a thorough tutorial on its utilization. 

Our pattern collection is available at


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Submitting Author's Institution

Hochschule Worms

Submitting Author's Country

  • Germany