Introduction: Spy Communication, Hide Text in JPEG

About: I am an automation engineer but I will give anything a go. I don't know if you call if pessimism or just being an engineer, but I look for problems everywhere, then I look for some weird, left field way to sol…

There are lots of ways to pass covert information, drop points, encoded emails, hidden thumb drives, invisible ink...

All of these require some special skills or elaborate setups.

Too lazy for all of that? Add this one to your repertoire, an easy way to embed text with a jpeg file and pass it in plain sight.

All you need is a Windows PC

Admin level access

A JPEG image

A message


Step 1: Prepare the Image

Okay, there isn't much to this step.

Find an interesting JPEG, I like this one because it looks like it would be hard to find anything in it.

If you are not super familiar with command prompt and its navigation, then place the image in the root directory of the drive so c: if you are working directly on the hard drive or the drive letter of the thumb drive you are using.

Step 2: Prepare CMD

You must have admin rights on the PC you are using for this.

Click Start and type CMD

When Command Prompt appears, right click and "Run As Administator"

You will be presented with some path, e.g. c:\windows\system32>

We want to get to the folder where our image is, this is at the root.

To get there type cd\

Do this until the prompt changes to c:\>

Step 3: The Command

Now we are ready to enter the all important command

At the c:\> prompt type the following echo "Your Message" >> "filename.jpg"

and press enter, it is important you include spaces and the braces (>>)

Step 4: Check It Out

Open the JPEG using notepad, you can do this by launching notepad, change the filetype to ALL FILES and selecting your image file.

At first it all looks like encoded garbage, and it is!!!

However, if you scroll to the very last section of the text, very bottom, very right, here you will see your hidden message.

You can save this file anywhere you like, hard drive, thumb drive or email it and your chosen recipient can simply open the file the same way and read the message with no special software or encryption key required.

Now the issue is that anyone technically can read the message but then again, how many people do you know that are familiar with this technique??