The Colors, Duke! Steganography using the Python Imaging Library (PIL)

10:30 AM - 10:55 AM on July 17, 2016, Room CR5

Prakash Venkat

Audience level:


Steganography is the practice, though some might say artform, of concealing messages within other types of media. The aim of my talk is to show how to write plaintext messages into images and then retrieve them. To do this I'll be using the Python Imaging Library, or PIL.


The art of encrypting information has been around for centuries. However, today is the first time people have the opportunity to bridge between different forms of data digitally. Steganography, once described (in the year 1499 AD) as magic, has the ability to imbue normal images with encoded messages. This has many uses outside the clandestine: bitcoin addresses, sales vouchers, information storage.

My talk will take audience members through the digital representations of both images and text as well as the process of converting between one another. I will also be providing a detailed set of examples on how to use the excellent Python Imaging Library, or PIL. Notes on the history of steganography as well as use cases for steganographic techniques will also turn up occasionally.