Secretbook is a new app that allows users to hide any message in a Facebook picture. 21-year-old Owen Campbell-Moore’s plugin allows anyone with access to Google Chrome to hide messages in uploaded JPEGs.
Campbell-Moore developed the browser extension as apart of a computer science project at Oxford University. The algorithm he developed allows people to hide up to 140 character notes (depending on the size of the original image), which can only be unlocked using a password through the social networking site.
How Does It Work
The program hides messages within the millions of images that are uploaded to Facebook. By changing a pixel to a different color, it then replicates it within different pictures to spell out a message. Now the message can be accessed by someone who knows the password and which picture to look for. A small pop-up screen is then shown to the viewer with the embedded message.
Using the Google Chrome web extension platform also creates a barrier for Facebook to detect, and therefore hinder the transmissions.
A Clear and Present Agitation?
When I tested this out for myself, I noticed some compression issues with a letter being changed here and there. With that aside, all in all, it is a pretty remarkable piece of programing. The undercurrent fear of terrorists using the technology is there, right out of a crime drama. Yet, the system is not completely secure, and therefore not a fool-proof method of communication. Still, that does not leave the application without its critics.
What are your thoughts?
Until Next Time . . .
Stay Inspired ~ Jules