Tag Archives: computer software

Hiding messages using fonts

A new computer technique has been developed that uses subtle changes to a document’s fonts to encode secret messages and data.

Using Columbia University’s FontCode system, however, users can hide messages within unrelated text via virtually-invisible changes to the displayed letters.

Developed by a team led by associate professor of computer science Changxi Zheng, FontCode works with commonly-used fonts such as Times Roman, Helvetica, and Calibri, plus it’s compatible with most word processing programs. Additionally, the hidden messages are retained even when the document is printed on paper or converted to a different file type.

The video at the link explains very nicely how this works. The technology has some excellent potentially positive applications, such as providing a method of finding out if an original document has been modified. It also carries with it a great potential for misuse because of its ability to hide information unobtrusively in a written document.

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