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Steganography is the art of hiding information in ways that prevent the detection of hidden messages. It includes a vast array of secret communications methods that conceal the message's very existence. These methods include invisible inks, microdots, character arrangement, digital signatures, covert channels, and spread spectrum communications. Steganography and cryptography are cousins in the spycraft family: cryptography scrambles a message so it cannot be understood while steganography hides the message so it cannot be seen. In this article the authors discuss image files and how to hide information in them, and discuss results obtained from evaluating available steganographic software. They argue that steganography by itself does not ensure secrecy, but neither does simple encryption. If these methods are combined, however, stronger encryption methods result. If an encrypted message is intercepted, the interceptor knows the text is an encrypted message. But with steganography, the interceptor may not know that a hidden message even exists. For a brief look at how steganography evolved, there is included a sidebar titled "Steganography: Some History."