New information hiding technology to be commercialised by Crossword Cybersecurity

A new information hiding technology, developed by SCCS members Dr Shujun Li, Prof Anthony TS Ho, Dr Haitham CruickshankProf Zhili Sun and Prof Alan Woodward in their joint Innovate UK SBRI project “Mobile Magic Mirror (M3): Steganography and Cryptography on the move“, will be commercialised through Crossword Cybersecurity plc (Crossword), an ISDX listed technology transfer company.

Both Crossword and the University of Surrey released a news item for this collaboration after an MOU was signed off by both parties recently. See here for the news release from Crossword and here for the one from the University.

The new information hiding technology is different from traditional ones in how information is hidden. Traditionally, information is hidden in the content of a cover object (document, audio, image, video, etc.) or a channel, but the new technology hides information as (online) activities rather than in the contents of such activities. There are some known work which could be loosely classified into or linked to this new technology, such as information hiding based on time (e.g. US Patent 20130322629) or packet size (e.g. US Patent 20140317406 and Pantic and Husain’s ACSAC 2015 paper) or how some random elements in a game are generated (e.g. Ou and Chen’s paper at Information Science in 2014), but they are all too narrowly defined and normally do not cover activities.

For the information hiding technology the team has filed a world patent application and a research paper is planned for later this year in which more details of the technology will be reported. An Android app was developed during the M3 project as a demonstrator to show how information can be hidden in twitter activities. The team will work closely with Crossword to further develop the demonstrator and identify the best route for commercialisation.