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Stegano 9 and 10

Arrow Image Background info aswell as help on Stegano challenges 9 and 10.

Okay, I\'ve got quite a few pms about this one, so I jst decided to make an article so every1 can learn. The first part on both steg9 and steg10 talk about whats happening, if you\'re really impatiant, jst skip to the last paragraphs where I explain what to do.

NOTE: Firefox wont let me sign onto HBH on my pc, so I did this on the Mozilla browser. It may look different on FF or other browsers, please tell me if it does.



So we click the Steg 9 link. Looks like nothing happens. A blank white page loads.

The next thing we look at is the URL. We now know something about this page. We\'re not looking at an actual page, but at a .gif (this explains why theres no page source ;) )

Okay, so what do we know about .GIFs?
Normaly I\'d send you to google it, but Im feeling generous, and listed the main points below.

FUN FACTS!!!! (woot)

-GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format
-GIF is a bitmap image format (pixel picture)
-GIFs are made up of 256 distinct colours (per frame)
-GIFS are compressed, to allow internet pages to load quicker
-GIFs can be animated
-GIFs can contain transparency

Okay, so know we know a bit about GIFs. Lets examine this picture then. It doesn\'t appear to be animated. It doesnt appear to be anything other than white. However, there are ways to freeze an animated gif at a frame.

For example, lets take this sig I made for Neo_Chalchus, \"\"

It is an animated GIF, that switches to a different frame every couple seconds. Now, press ESC and watch what happens ;) What if there were a script that freezes the Steg9 GIF at a blank frame?

The first thing I tried doing was opening this picture in different image programs. I tried it on MS Paint first. Nothing happened. Only a white square. Next I tried it on PhotoShop. This time, however, something did happen. An alert popped up saying that this is an animated GIF, and PhotoShop could only open one frame (it cant handle or work with animations).

Okay, so we know this GIF is infact animated. Time to open it in a program that can handle animated GIFs.

My program of choice is IrfanView ( It is a must have, partly for the fact that it can resize almost anything without quality loss.

You can probably use other programs, but I cant guarantee it to work. If you do chose to use IrfanView, just open the pic in it, and *drumroll* you should be seeing a message ;) Now with a little common sence, you can enter the password, and receive 50 points ;)


Okay, this one looks similar to stegano 9. Blank screen. However, using the skills we learnt from stegano 9, what do we find out about this picture? It isnt a GIF, but a .PNG.

MORE FUN FACTS!!!! (wootier)

-PNG stands for Portable Network Graphic
-PNG\'s are lossless compressed bitmaps
-PNG\'s are improved GIFs, with more than 256 colours
-PNG\'s are generally smaller in file size than GIFs
-PNGS cannot be animated
-PNGS are normally 8 bits, can be 1, 2 or 4 bits aswell though
-Greyscale PNGs are 16 bits, 48 bits are used for true colour
-PNGs can contain transparency

Alright, so this picture can\'t be animated like the picture from steg 9. Nothing extraordinary happens if we open it up in IrfanView.

For this next part, I used Adobe Photoshop, the graphics industries\' leading software. A 30-day trial version can be found at However, I think this can be done in freeware programs such as The Gimp and Photo Studio aswell. If anybody used any other programs, please tell me :)

Alright, once opened up in PhotoShop, we try the same method we used on steg 1. We try using the paint bucket tool on empty space. Photoshop gives us an error message, saying this cannot be done in 16 bit pictures, and that it must be converted to an 8 bit image first.

There are other ways of changing a PNGs bit number, but here\'s how it\'s done in PhotoShop:

Image>Mode> and select the \"8-Bit\" option. Now, select the paint bucket tool again. At the top of the screen, change the Tolerance value to \"1\". Now, click on empty space around the outside. Your password should appear :)

Hope ya liked,
Please leave a comment or rating :)


SwiftNomadon March 22 2006 - 22:33:39
Vary good tutorial!! You not only draw out a picture for the challange but you give us backround information on the types of files.. Vary neat.
nights_shadowon March 23 2006 - 02:28:18
I did 10 with word Wink
Shnapon March 23 2006 - 05:33:57
ok ill try screwing around with it in word, photoshop cs dosnt have a paint bucket.
Shnapon March 23 2006 - 05:36:49
Ok I just did it in paint.
danbradsteron March 23 2006 - 08:13:18
Photoshop CS sure does have a paint bucket... Here's how I finished them - Steg 9 - Right click>Properties, it says it has 3 frames so open with Image Ready and it tells you the password. Steg 10 - Open with photoshop, Image>Adjustments>Levels.
Cultmaster68on March 27 2006 - 12:07:12
you practicly said all the passwords.. WOW... !0*
the_flashon March 27 2006 - 19:24:43
These Facts are so frikking fun! Very good tutorial dude - You can do 10 alot easier on photoshop... [hint] Take a closer look [/hint] Once again...Good tut!
GODDon April 15 2006 - 21:20:23
yeah, i found 10 extremely easy....just used ms paint....
ksartoon May 18 2006 - 17:54:47
it works in microsoft word as well Smile
BlackAce227on June 12 2006 - 04:55:55
nice tut
Lazaruson September 13 2006 - 17:05:05
This isn't only some hints, this is "how-to" type turtorial. Only total looser didn't passthischallenges with this tut. Good work! (P.S: I did 10. with Macromedia Fireworks)
h1_j4ckon December 11 2006 - 00:31:19
Hehe that was pretty much a walkthrough but okay, good effort put into it. Also i'm sure it helped many people out alot. Pfft
pokjomamaon December 18 2006 - 21:02:25
there is an easier way to find steg10 in Adobe ImageReady : Image> Adjustments > very close to here :right: P.S. thanks for the background info, it was a good refresher!
djdottion February 01 2007 - 20:17:42
Yay!! i passed them both thanks to yoo!
x-xon May 16 2007 - 20:52:29
thats very easyGrin great articleGrin
Hack_Ramon March 18 2008 - 19:13:27
AHA!! got it in 5 mins. i used a program called Gimp 2 had to toy with thr brightness and c**t**st
southafrica1on April 06 2010 - 10:12:23
Nice Article! yeah I also did stego10 in paint. could not be simpler
th3l05tpr0ph3tzon June 02 2011 - 08:05:01
i used gpaint, for anyone using a gnome-type distro simple to install: sudo apt-get install gpaint.:ninja:
th3l05tpr0ph3tzon June 02 2011 - 08:08:11
i used gpaint, for anyone using a gnome-type distro simple to install: sudo apt-get install gpaint.:ninja:
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