The use of steganography by terrorists for the communication of ...

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The use of steganography by terrorists for the communication of ...

Published : Thursday, July 21, 2011
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PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE PUBLICATION
Steganos responds to the current demands for a
ban on cryptography and steganography
Following the atrocious terrorist attacks in the USA, methods of encryption, in particular
steganography, have become the focus of criticism in the media as well as in political,
police and military circles. Terrorist Osama bin Laden, sought by authorities worldwide,
is said to have been using steganography software to coordinate terrorist attacks.
FRANKFURT/MAIN, 20. September 2001 – The brutal attacks on the World Trade
Center have profoundly shocked the world. Even before 11 September, it was
known that terrorists such as Osama bin Laden had been using steganography for
secret communications with one another. Since the terrible attacks of 11
September there has been an increased number of calls from different quarters for
a ban on digital cryptography and steganography products. Steganos as the
worldwide market leader in steganographic software has also been subject to
criticism and would like to take the opportunity herewith of stating its position on
the possible misuse of its products for the perpetration of criminal acts.
The use of steganography by terrorists for the communication of secret data
According to reports in USA Today (19.06.2001) US sources had already confirmed
that the terrorist Osama bin Laden had been using steganographic software. Through its
combination of encryption and invisibility of the encrypted data, steganography offers
complete protection from data espionage. With steganography, messages can be
hidden in image or sound files before being sent. Bin Laden is said to have hidden
information in the pictures of a pornographic internet web page and in the messages in
a sports chat room.
The position of Steganos
As Steganos Security Suite is the worldwide market leader in the field of steganography,
it cannot be ruled out that this software was used in conjunction with the recent
attacks. Steganos would therefore like to make the following statement. Fabian
Hansmann (Managing Director of Steganos): “As the manufacturers of security software
we would like to disassociate ourselves absolutely from each and every criminal misuse
of our software. Like all other peace-loving people we severely condemn the terrorist
attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and are deeply dismayed at the
thought of any possible usage of our products in this connection. Our software is
conceived as a tool for protecting such basic rights as privacy and freedom of speech.
Ever since the inception of our business we have strictly and exactly adhered to the
export regulations of the Federal Government. We do not supply Afghanistan – and 28
other countries – with encryption products and have not done so in the past.”
No sense in banning encryption
Hansmann continues: “Our software is used by private individuals, companies and
public offices who have a justifiable interest in the protection of their data. Every person
has a right to privacy and freedom of speech. In a number of states these rights are
denied and human rights trampled upon. Steganography can effectively help to protect
the given right of freedom of opinion. The uncovering of certain information could in
itself become a threat to life; such information can now be freely exchanged. Due to
the worldwide distribution of our software among well over one million users, a
criminal misuse in individual cases cannot be completely excluded, despite all
Steganos GmbH
http://www.steganos.com/
TECHNICAL SERVICE
http://support.steganos.com
FREE E-MAIL-ENCRYPTION
http://mail.steganos.com
PUBLISHER:
Steganos GmbH
Katja Pryss
Marketing
Eckenheimer Landstr. 17
60318 Frankfurt
Tel.: (069) 970 971-15
Fax: (069) 970 971–11
katja.pryss@steganos.com
PRESS AGENCY
MediaGold GmbH
Markus Y. Soffner
Public Relations
Goldbergstr. 6
81479 München
Tel.: (089) 79097-35
Fax: (089) 79097-91
mys@mediagold.com
precautions at the stage of export. Precisely due to its digital technology, software can
easily be exchanged and made available for misuse. In this way terrorists from countries
which we do not supply can obtain and misuse steganography for their purposes.
Despite this, it is clear that a ban on cryptography and steganography would be
counter-productive, undemocratic and not effectively enforceable. Honest citizens
would lose a source of protection against criminal hackers, while criminal elements
would continue to exchange hidden information. A free society should not be forced by
actions of terrorists to question or even ban any of its achievements that have been
subject to misuse.”
The role of encryption following 11 September
Hansmann concludes: “After the terrible events of 11 September, cryptography plays
an even more important role than ever before. It is an important aspect in the vitally
important task of strengthening internal security while protecting the rights of the
individual at the same time. Companies will also have to protect their data more
securely in the future as a way of protecting themselves from the attentions of
terrorists.”
About Steganos . and its products
Steganos was founded in 1996 as DEMCOM and took its current name in 2001. It is a market leader in the
field of encryption software. Steganos products are divided into consumer and business lines and are used for
the encryption of files and e-mails, the removal of traces of internet surfing and the protection of sensitive
data from outside intervention. Steganos is the worldwide market leader in steganographic solutions. Using
this technique, data is not only encrypted but also hidden in image or sound files so as not to attract attention
to their sensitive nature. Steganos . is the world’s first company to incorporate the new AES encryption
algorythm (Advanced Encryption Standard) in its products. More than one million Steganos users worldwide
are proof of the popularity of this software line, not only for its recognized security standards but also its user-
friendliness. On its web page Steganos offers a free e-mail encryption service, whereby encryption and
sending are handled through the Steganos server (
http://mail.steganos.com)
. Further information about
Steganos and its products: http://www.steganos.com.
Steganos
http://www.steganos.com/
TECHNICAL SERVICE
http://support.steganos.com
FREE E-MAIL-ENCRYPTION
http://6a1l3st02ano9.com
PUBLISHER:
Steganos
Katja Pryss
Marketing
Eckenheimer Landstr. 17
60318 Frankfurt
Tel.: (069) 970 971-15
Fax: (069) 970 971–11
katja.pryss@steganos.com
PRESS AGENCY
MediaGold
Markus Y. Soffner
Public Relations
Goldbergstr. 6
81479 München
Tel.: (089) 79097-35
Fax: (089) 79097-91
mys@mediagold.com
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