Title: Information hiding: a novel algorithm for enhancement of cover text capacity by using unicode characters

Authors: Muhammad Azeem; Cai Yongquan; Allah Ditta; Khurram Gulzar Rana; Faheem Akhtar Rajpoot

Addresses: College of Computer Science and Technology, Faculty of Information Science and Technology, Beijing University of Technology (BJUT), Beijing, 100124, China ' College of Computer Science and Technology, Faculty of Information Science and Technology, Beijing University of Technology (BJUT), Beijing, 100124, China ' Division of Science and Technology, University of Education, College Road, Township, Lahore, Pakistan ' Faculty of Information Technology, Beijing University of Technology, Beijing 100124, China; Institute of Information Technology, Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad, Islamabad, 44000, Pakistan ' College of Software Engineering, Faculty of Information Science and Technology, Beijing University of Technology, Beijing, 100124, China

Abstract: From centuries, information security has been an attractive topic for security officials, intruders, hackers and other communication sectors throughout the world. Cryptography and steganography are widely practiced for secure communication over the internet. In steganography, data hiding capacity has been a great challenge for the research community and security officials. In this research, a novel algorithm is elaborated to conceal secret data with higher cover text capacity by using three different unicode characters such as zero width joiner, zero width non-joiner and zero width character. English text is taken as a message carrier. Before embedding a secret message into cover text, one's complement is applied on binary value of specific characters in secret message. Furthermore, 'Steger' is developed for the practical implementation of designed algorithm. The results revealed that newly designed algorithm reported higher data hiding capacity with security and size efficiency. This is an astonishing increase in data hiding capacity of carrier text. The unicode approach was efficiently and effectively used to reduce the attention of intruders.

Keywords: unicode; zero width joiner; ZWJ; zero width non-joiner; ZWNJ; zero width character; ZWC; cover media; text steganography.

DOI: 10.1504/IJICS.2018.095357

International Journal of Information and Computer Security, 2018 Vol.10 No.4, pp.437 - 453

Available online: 25 Sep 2018 *

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