Multilevel Network Steganography in Fountain Codes

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DOI: 10.1145/3487405.3487420
Publication type: Conference paper
Conference: EICC 2021: European Interdisciplinary Cybersecurity Conference
Location: Virtual
Online publication date: 2021-11-10


We present a method to establish a network storage covert channel in a fountain code, which is used to provide reliable communication over lossy network with low overhead and without acknowledgment. As also parts of the secret message get lost when a carrier packet is lost, reliable transmission of the secret message is provided by using a second fountain code. Thus, our proposal opens the possibility for a multilevel steganographic method. We evaluate a proof-of-concept implementation that uses LT-codes and demonstrate that activation of the covert channel does not deteriorate the reliability of the carrier. We also discuss countermeasures that limit the possibilities for covert channels in fountain codes.


  • Jörg Keller
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    FernUniversität in Hagen
    Hagen, Germany