Abstract: Steganography is the science that involves communicating secret data in an appropriate multimedia carrier, e.g., image, audio, and video files. It comes under the assumption that if the feature is visible, the point of attack is evident, thus the goal here is always to conceal the very existence of the embedded data. Steganography has various useful applications. However, like any other science it can be used for ill intentions. It has been propelled to the forefront of current security techniques by the remarkable growth in computational power, the increase in security awareness by, e.g., individuals, groups, agencies, government and through intellectual pursuit. Steganography's ultimate objectives, which are undetectability, robustness (resistance to various image processing methods and compression) and capacity of the hidden data, are the main factors that separate it from related techniques such as watermarking and cryptography. This paper provides a state-of-the-art review and analysis of the different existing methods of steganography along with some common standards and guidelines drawn from the literature. This paper concludes with some recommendations and advocates for the object-oriented embedding mechanism. Steganalysis, which is the science of attacking steganography, is not the focus of this survey but nonetheless will be briefly discussed.
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