LinL:Lost in n-best List

  • Peng Meng
  • Yun-Qing Shi
  • Liusheng Huang
  • Zhili Chen
  • Wei Yang
  • Abdelrahman Desoky
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6958)


Translation-based steganography (TBS) is a new kind of text steganographic scheme. However, contemporary TBS methods are vulnerable to statistical attacks. Differently, this paper presents a novel TBS, namely Lost in n-best List, abbreviated as LinL, that is resilient against the current statistical attacks. LinL employs only one Statistical Machine Translator (SMT) in the encoding process which selects one of the n-best list of each cover text sentence in order to camouflage messages in stegotext. The presented theoretical analysis demonstrates that there is a classification accuracy upper bound between normal translated text and the stegotext. When the text size is 1000 sentences, the theoretical maximum classification accuracy is about 60%. The experiment results also show current steganalysis methods cannot detect LinL.


LinL natural language steganography translation-based steganography (TBS) text steganography linguistic steganography 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Grothoff, C., Grothoff, K., Alkhutova, L., Stutsman, R., Atallah, M.: Translation-based steganography. In: Barni, M., Herrera-Joancomartí, J., Katzenbeisser, S., Pérez-González, F. (eds.) IH 2005. LNCS, vol. 3727, pp. 219–233. Springer, Heidelberg (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Stutsman, R., Atallah, M., Grothoff, K.: Lost in just the translation. In: Proceedings of the 2006 ACM symposium on Applied computing, ACM New York, NY, USA (2006) 338–345CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Grothoff, C., Grothoff, K., Stutsman, R., Alkhutova, L., Atallah, M.: Translation-based steganography. Journal of Computer Security 17(3), 269–303 (2009)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Meng, P., Hang, L., Chen, Z., Hu, Y., Yang, W.: STBS: A statistical algorithm for steganalysis of translation-based steganography. In: Böhme, R., Fong, P.W.L., Safavi-Naini, R. (eds.) IH 2010. LNCS, vol. 6387, pp. 208–220. Springer, Heidelberg (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Chen, Z., Huang, L., Meng, P., Yang, W., Miao, H.: Blind linguistic steganalysis against translation based steganography. In: Kim, H.-J., Shi, Y.Q., Barni, M. (eds.) IWDW 2010. LNCS, vol. 6526, pp. 251–265. Springer, Heidelberg (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Google: Google translator (2009),
  7. 7.
    Systran: Systran translator (2009),
  8. 8.
    Linguatec: Linguatec translation,
  9. 9.
    Chen, B., Zhang, M., Aw, A., Li, H.: Exploiting n-best hypotheses for smt self-enhancement. In: Proceedings of the 46th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics on Human Language Technologies: Short Papers, Association for Computational Linguistics, pp. 157–160 (2008)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Koehn, P., Hoang, H., Birch, A., Callison-Burch, C., Federico, M., Bertoldi, N., Cowan, B., Shen, W., Moran, C., Zens, R., et al.: Moses: Open source toolkit for statistical machine translation. In: Proceedings of the 45th Annual Meeting of the ACL on Interactive Poster and Demonstration Sessions, Association for Computational Linguistics (2007)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Bennett, K.: Linguistic steganography: Survey, analysis, and robustness concerns for hiding information in text. Purdue University, CERIAS Tech. Report (2004)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
  13. 13.
    Wayner, P.: Disappearing cryptography: information hiding: steganography and watermarking. Morgan Kaufmann Pub., San Francisco (2008)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Chapman, M., Davida, D.: Hiding the hidden: A software system for concealing ciphertext as innocuous text. Lecture Note. In: Computer Science, 335–345 (1997)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Chang, C., Clark, S.: Linguistic steganography using automatically generated paraphrases. In: Human Language Technologies: The 2010 Annual Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Association for Computational Linguistics (2010)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Liu, T.Y., Tsai, W.H.: A new steganographic method for data hiding in microsoft word documents by a change tracking technique. IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security 2(1), 24–30 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Desoky, A.: Nostega: a novel noiseless steganography paradigm. Journal of Digital Forensic Practice 2(3), 132–139 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Desoky, A.: Listega: list-based steganography methodology. International Journal of Information Security 8(4), 247–261 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Desoky, A.: NORMALS: normal linguistic steganography methodology. Journal of Information Hiding and Multimedia Signal Processing 1(3), 145–171 (2010)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Desoky, A.: Matlist: mature linguistic steganography methodology. Security and Communication NetworksGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Taskiran, C., Topkara, U., Topkara, M., Delp, E.: Attacks on lexical natural language steganography systems. In: Proceedings of SPIE, vol. 6072, pp. 97–105 (2006)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Zhili, C., Liusheng, H., Zhenshan, Y., Wei, Y., Lingjun, L., Xueling, Z., Xinxin, Z.: Linguistic steganography detection using statistical characteristics of correlations between words. In: Solanki, K., Sullivan, K., Madhow, U. (eds.) IH 2008. LNCS, vol. 5284, pp. 224–235. Springer, Heidelberg (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Zhili, C., Liusheng, H., Zhenshan, Y., Lingjun, L., Wei, Y.: A statistical algorithm for linguistic steganography detection based on distribution of words. In: Third International Conference on Availability, Reliability and Security, ARES 2008, pp. 558–563 (2008)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Zhili, C., Liusheng, H., Zhenshan, Y., Xinxin, Z.: Effective linguistic steganography detection. In: IEEE 8th International Conference on Computer and Information Technology Workshops, CIT Workshops 2008, pp. 224–229 (2008)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Meng, P., Hang, L., Yang, W., Chen, Z.: Attacks on translation based steganography. In: IEEE Youth Conference on Information, Computing and Telecommunication, YC-ICT 2009, pp. 227–230. IEEE, Los Alamitos (2010)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Meng, P., Hang, L., Chen, Z., Yang, W., Yang, M.: Analysis and detection of translation-based steganography. Chinese Journal of Electronics 38(8), 1748–1752 (2010)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Koehn, P.: MOSES, Statistical Machine Translation System, User Manual and Code Guide (2010)Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Anderson, T., Bahadur, R.: Classification into two multivariate normal distributions with different covariance matrices. The Annals of Mathematical Statistics 33(2), 420–431 (1962)MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    WMT08: Wmt08 news commentary (2008),
  30. 30.
    Fridrich, J., Goljan, M., Hogea, D.: Steganalysis of JPEG images: Breaking the F5 algorithm. In: Petitcolas, F.A.P. (ed.) IH 2002. LNCS, vol. 2578, pp. 310–323. Springer, Heidelberg (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Budhia, U., Kundur, D., Zourntos, T.: Digital video steganalysis exploiting statistical visibility in the temporal domain. IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security 1(4), 502–516 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peng Meng
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Yun-Qing Shi
    • 2
  • Liusheng Huang
    • 1
    • 3
  • Zhili Chen
    • 1
    • 3
  • Wei Yang
    • 1
    • 3
  • Abdelrahman Desoky
    • 4
  1. 1.NHPCC, Depart. of CS. & Tech.USTCHefeiChina
  2. 2.New Jersey Institute of TechnologyNewark, New JerseyUSA
  3. 3.Suzhou Institute for Advanced StudyUSTCSuzhouChina
  4. 4.CSEEUniversity of MarylandUSA

Personalised recommendations