Can we say that steganography ensures confidentiality? I think it does not ensure because it is based on the security through obscurity and then it does not respect Kerckhoffs's principles, but the notion of confidentiality being highly subjective, I would appreciate any answer.

  • Similar to 'user52472' you will want to look at another approach instead of using a solution of steganography. You will want to instead look at appropriate access control models, in this case, only ensuring that access to the data/information is only for those with the correct access to the correct level of confidentiality. For example, you may have a document where you only want Person A and B from Department A can access the document from Building A, but not when Person A from Department is accessing from home (as doing so, would increase risk for the confidential document)
    – NASAhorse
    Oct 18, 2018 at 12:45

1 Answer 1


Steganography solves a different problem. Steganography attempts to hide the existence of the data at all, not necessarily protect the confidentiality of the data once it's discovered.

Regarding Kerckhoff's principle, yes, steganography does violate Kerckhoff's principle. Specifically, point 2:

It should not require secrecy, and it should not be a problem if it falls into enemy hands;

Steganography does not use a key, and as such requires that the method of encoding data remain secret.

  • 3
    “Steganography does not use a key” — is that true by definition? Because I don’t think it is: steganography could require a key … with (theoretically) plausible deniability, by making a wrong key on hidden data behave the same way as on no hidden data. Oct 18, 2018 at 1:02
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    -1 You can absolutely use steganography that does not violate Kerckhoff's principle. The algorithm used can certainly be public, as long as the medium you are hiding in has a sufficiently predictable distribution that you can hide data in it such that a key is needed to discover its existence. An analogous technique used by the military (and civilians, at times) is LPD FHSS, a radio communication technique which blends in with background radiation perfectly unless a specific frequency hopping sequence is known.
    – forest
    Oct 18, 2018 at 4:02

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