Steganography is the art and science of writing hidden messages in such a way that no one, apart from the sender and intended recipient, suspects the existence of the message, a form of security through obscurity


When it comes to digital steganography no stone should be left unturned in the search for viable hidden data. Although digital steganography is commonly used to hide data inside multimedia files, a similar approach can be used to hide data in archives as well. Steganography imposes the following data hiding rule: Data must be hidden in such a fashion that the user has no clue about the hidden message or file's existence. This can be achieved by either hiding existing packed content from all programs designed to unpack the selected file format, or adding new data to existing compressed files, so that the file's usability is unchanged. To discover this hidden information we must go into deep analysis of systems that have developed their own archive processors and see the implications of format specifications being interpreted differently across such solutions.

We have designed NyxEngine to ensure that no byte is left unchecked in the search for interesting archive data. Furthermore Nyx performs detailed data inspection by which it identifies possible vulnerabilities and corruptions in the binary content of archives. By integrating the NyxEngine as the top layer in archive processing, we can successfully detect and prevent all known and future vulnerability attack vectors against archive processors, thus effectively eliminating the possibility of archive bombs and other exploits. In addition to shielding against exploits, Nyx also searches for viable hidden data that was intentionally cloaked from sight using steganographic principles. And since the engine does detailed data inspection, it can correct vulnerabilities and recover files, making it a perfect archive preprocessor.

Nyx engine’s exploit shield functionality checks the following archive areas: stored file name length and content, compression ratio, extract algorithm requirements, checksum tampering, multi-disk tampering, file entry duplication and other miscellaneous header data checks. Serving as a common denominator among all known archive processing solutions, Nyx classifies each instance of tampering in a functional group as vulnerabilities that affects that group.

By performing detailed checks and on-the-fly corrections, the maximum possible archive data is recovered and identified. This is the best way to find files that are present in the archive, but unreported in the archive header and to extract every possible bit from the archive. This method this works not only with unreported files, but with any kind of binary data present in the archive which isn’t assigned to any of the file content.

The detailed file analysis provided by Nyx makes it possible to recover the maximum amount of damaged, corrupt and invalid data.