Behavioral Security in Covert Communication Systems

  • Zhongliang YangEmail author
  • Yuting Hu
  • Yongfeng Huang
  • Yujin Zhang
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 12022)


The purpose of the covert communication system is to implement the communication process without causing third party perception. In order to achieve complete covert communication, two aspects of security issues need to be considered. The first one is to cover up the existence of information, that is, to ensure the content security of information; the second one is to cover up the behavior of transmitting information, that is, to ensure the behavioral security of communication. However, most of the existing information hiding models are based on the “Prisoners’ Model”, which only considers the content security of carriers, while ignoring the behavioral security of the sender and receiver. We think that this is incomplete for the security of covert communication. In this paper, we propose a new covert communication framework, which considers both content security and behavioral security in the process of information transmission. In the experimental part, we analyzed a large amount of collected real Twitter data to illustrate the security risks that may be brought to covert communication if we only consider content security and neglect behavioral security. Finally, we designed a toy experiment, pointing out that in addition to most of the existing content steganography, under the proposed new framework of covert communication, we can also use user’s behavior to implement behavioral steganography. We hope this new proposed framework will help researchers to design better covert communication systems.


Covert communication Content security Behavioral security Behavioral steganography 



The authors thank Dr. Shujun Li for constructive communications. This work was supported in part by the National Key Research and Development Program of China under Grant 2018YFB0804103 and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. U1536207, No. U1705261 and No. U1636113).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhongliang Yang
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Yuting Hu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yongfeng Huang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yujin Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.The Department of Electronic EngineeringTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Beijing National Research Center for Information Science and TechnologyBeijingChina

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