The Steganographic File System

  • Ross Anderson
  • Roger Needham
  • Adi Shamir
Conference paper

DOI: 10.1007/3-540-49380-8_6

Volume 1525 of the book series Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS)
Cite this paper as:
Anderson R., Needham R., Shamir A. (1998) The Steganographic File System. In: Information Hiding. IH 1998. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 1525. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg


Users of some systems are at risk of being compelled to disclose their keys or other private data, and this risk could be mitigated if access control mechanisms supported an element of plausible deniability. However, existing plausible deniability mechanisms, such as the one-time pad, are of rather limited scope.

In this paper, we present the steganographic file system. This is a storage mechanism designed to give the user a very high level of protection against being compelled to disclose its contents. It will deliver a file to any user who knows its name and password; but an attacker who does not possess this information and cannot guess it, can gain no information about whether the file is present, even given complete access to all the hardware and software. We provide two independent constructions, which make slightly different assumptions.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ross Anderson
    • 1
  • Roger Needham
    • 2
  • Adi Shamir
    • 3
  1. 1.Cambridge UniversityUSA
  2. 2.Microsoft Research LtdUSA
  3. 3.Weizmann InstituteUSA