The Magic Picture: Steganography in Bitmap Files

The Magic Picture: Steganography in Bitmap Files


Abdullah Seddiq

Computer Programmer

Sultan Bin AbdulAziz Science & Technology Center (Scitech) and
King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM)

Dhahran, Saudi Arabia

*This video was sponsored by Saudi Aramco and produced by Sultan Bin Abdel Aziz Science & Technology Center

Lesson Feedback


This video aims to connect many topics in computer science to reach the writing of an application that can do something useful in actual life. The student will get to know the concept of ciphering and hiding (Steganography in bitmap files), will have a glance at the American Standard Code for Information Interchange table "ASCII", will understand the structure of bitmap (BMP), and learn how color is stored. Also students will learn how to do some byte and bit level operations, and how to manipulate binary files. They will then use Visual Basic, or another programming language, to write a Windows application that ciphers and hides a computer file inside a digital picture or a photo -- with the look and feel of the image the same and no change whatsoever to its size. Prerequisites: It is recommended that students have previous knowledge of: Binary Systems; Computer storage unit "Byte", and its multiples: Kilo, Mega and Giga; Hexadecimal Editor; Programming basics and manipulating binary files.

  • You can download the VB application: MagicPic from this link:
  • For those who do not have Windows, Abdullah Seddiq & Faisal Hammoud wrote a PHP script to do this steganography. You can try it through this link:

Instructor Biography

Abdullah Seddiq is a computer programmer who works at Scitech on software and hardware management. He has written many applications under Windows. Also he has a Bachelor's degree in English-Arabic translation, and is interested in teaching Information Technology. Mr. Seddiq launched the following website with his friend, Amer Jouz, for their application "Mohaffez":

Additional Online Resources

This is a Wikipedia overview of Steganography.

This PDF is a comprehensive article on Steganography written by Niels Provos and Peter Honeyman of the University of Michigan, published in the IEEE Security and Privacy Journal.