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Jun 29, 2005

Stego led CIA to a false alarm

There's an interesting story on MSNBC.com about the CIA drawing mistakenly concluding that Al Jazeera TV was broadcasting terrorist messages using steganography to hide the content in the ticker-tape news banner. It seems the high state of alert, verging on paranoia, led the CIA analysts to see phantom messages, yet they were credible enough to cause US authorities to cancel flights and raise the terror alert level from 'yellow' to 'orange'. I suspect the same false-alert could easily happen again due to the very nature of steganography but hopefully not without corroborating evidence from other sources. At least the false-alert was a fail-safe response.

More on confidentiality, crypto and steganography here