Covert Communications

Course #EC4730

Est.imated Completion Time: 3 months


Electronic signal and data communication mechanisms in which the presence of a message being transmitted is concealed in plain sight of other signals or data are presented. Information hiding in user data, protocol data, and radio, electronic, acoustic and other sensory signals is examined. The techniques of steganography, covert channels, low probability exploitation, and information concealment in analog signals are studied. Techniques and mechanisms for establishing robust, secure covert communication schemes are introduced. The detection, analysis, and abortion of adverse covert communication schemes are discussed. Design of systems suitable for attack and defense of covert communications using programmable logic devices is introduced. Low probability of detect, low probability of intercept, and anti-jamming techniques are reviewed. Embedding and extraction algorithms of steganography are presented. Related topics of watermarking and embedded malware are reviewed.

Included in degrees & certificates

  • 288
  • 296
  • 297


  • EC3710
  • EC3730

Learning Outcomes

·       The student will able to list the information hiding techniques applicable to compressed digital data and other information signals and network protocol data.

·       The student will be able to describe issues in information hiding unique to communicating in a radio frequency environment.

·       The student will be able to describe modern information compression schemes and outline potential vulnerabilities in the standards.

·       Given an information hiding scenario, the student will be able to propose schemes for analysis and detection of stego objects.

·       The student will be able to describe covert channel in the present day communication networks and propose methods for detecting and mitigating covert channels.

·       The student will be able to discuss cooperative communication techniques for secrecy in wireless communications.

·       The student will be able to describe spatial channels and outline potential avenues for covert communications in emerging wireless communications schemes, such as orthogonal frequency division multiplexing, multiple input multiple output schemes, and directional antennas.

·       The student will be able to describe potential use of acoustic signals (and others) for information hiding.

·       The student will be able to discuss the issues related to transporting of malware through hidden channels, both media and protocol based.

·       The student will be able to propose real-time stegoanalysis schemes using field programmable logic devices.

·       The student will be able to dissect the stego objects using well established statistical stegoanalysis techniques.

·       The student will be able to demonstrate the effectiveness of low probability of detection and interception in an RF environment.

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Application Deadlines

  •  08 Jul 2024

    Fall Quarter applications due

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