Blinky Rides Again: RCMP suspect al-Qaida messages

Tyler Durden camera_lumina at
Thu Dec 9 11:47:49 PST 2004

Oh, general cluelessness doesn't suprise me. What suprises me is that the 
writer of the original article seemed to believe that Stego was a new 

Those cops you you think they were stupid enough to assume that, 
because this was their first time hearing about Stego, that Al Qaeda was 
only starting to use it right then? (I assume the answer is 'no'...they'll 
be smart enough at least to recognize that this was something around for a 
while that they were unaware of).

NSA folks, on the other hand, I would assume have a soft version of a 
Variola Stego to quickly detect the presence of pretty much 
any kind of stego and then perform some tests to determine what kind was 
used. I bet they've been aware of Al Qaeda stego for a long time...that's 
probably the kind of thing they are very very good at.

In the end it probably comes down to Arabic, however, and that language has 
many built-in ways of deflecting the uninitiated. I'd bet even NSA has a 
hard time understanding an Arabic language message, even after they de-stego 
and translate it.


>From: "J.A. Terranson" <measl at>
>To: Tyler Durden <camera_lumina at>
>CC: rah at, cryptography at, 
>cypherpunks at,        osint at
>Subject: RE: Blinky Rides Again: RCMP suspect al-Qaida messages
>Date: Thu, 9 Dec 2004 12:19:55 -0600 (CST)
>On Thu, 9 Dec 2004, Tyler Durden wrote:
> > What a fuckin' joke. You mean they're only now realizing that Al-Qaeda 
> > use stego? Do they think they're stupid?
> >
> > Nah...certainly the NSA are fully prepared to handle this. I doubt it's 
> > of a development at all to those in the know.
> >
> > -TD
>As recently as two years ago, I had a classroom full of cops (mostly fedz
>from various well-known alphabets) who knew *nothing* about stego.  And I
>mean *NOTHING*.  They got a pretty shallow intro: here's a picture, and
>here's the secret message inside it, followed by an hour of theory and
>how-to's using the simplest of tools - every single one of them was just
>blown away. Actually, that's not true - the Postal Inspectors were bored,
>but everyone _else_ was floored.
>While the various alphabets have had a few years to get up to speed, the
>idea that they are still 99% ignorant does not surprise me in the least.
>J.A. Terranson
>sysadmin at
>  Civilization is in a tailspin - everything is backwards, everything is
>upside down- doctors destroy health, psychiatrists destroy minds, lawyers
>destroy justice, the major media destroy information, governments destroy
>freedom and religions destroy spirituality - yet it is claimed to be
>healthy, just, informed, free and spiritual. We live in a social system
>whose community, wealth, love and life is derived from alienation,
>poverty, self-hate and medical murder - yet we tell ourselves that it is
>biologically and ecologically sustainable.
>The Bush plan to screen whole US population for mental illness clearly
>indicates that mental illness starts at the top.
>Rev Dr Michael Ellner

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