How to Hide Files Inside Pictures

Tutorial Nov 24, 2020

A simple and fun way to hide data from prying eyes. Or maybe you want a fun way to send secret letters to someone without anyone between you and them suspecting anything. This guide will teach you how to hide files inside pictures.

For Windows and Linux, the steps to achieve this is not very complicated. Though, you will need to use the terminal interface. So, I hope you are comfortable with it.

Ingredients required:

  • An image file
  • A zip file containing files you wish to hide away

Note: The image formats that I tested and recommend using are .jpg, .png, .gif (animated and static works).

Note: Password protected .zip files will work too.

WINDOWS

On your desktop, create a new folder, you can name it anything you want, or even leave it with the default name windows likes to give newborn folders. For the sake of this walkthrough I'm going to assume that you named it "random_folder", and it will be  our test ground.

Grab and put your picture and .zip file inside this folder for us to use.

The "random_folder"

Now that we have our two files (the picture and zip file) ready, and have a place to work on (the "random_folder") we need to get there on a command prompt. Do Win + R, type in "cmd", and hit enter or click the "OK" button. Then, run the following command to get to our folder.

cd Desktop\random_folder

And then the magic spell that will merge the two files into one.

copy /b chest.jpg + secrets.zip output.jpg

Note: the order of the filenames on the copy command is important, image file comes before the zip file, and the output filename last. The /b switch is used to create binary files.

The newly created output.jpg is capable of acting out two roles. If you change the the file name from output.jpg to output.zip it will behave as a zip file instead of as an image file.

You can now use an archiving tool like WinRAR or even Windows File Explorer to access this output.zip file to get hold of its contents. Do know that this file is not a typical .zip file. So, not all archiving software out there will recognize and handle it gracefully. I only tested it out with the two I just mentioned and 7zip.

Note: If you're using 7zip and want to open the output.zip file with it, atleast at the time of writting this, 7zip will complain and fail. You will need to handhold 7zip and tell it to specificly open the file as a zip file . Rightclick output.zip and, 7-Zip -> Open archive -> zip

LINUX

First, fire up a terminal, change your working directory to where you have your image file (chest.jpg) and zip file (secrets.jpg) is at. And, just execute the below command to merge the two into a single file.

cd random_folder
cat chest.jpg secrets.zip > output.jpg

Note: The order of the filenames on this cat command is important, image file comes before the zip file, and the output filename last.

This will result in a file called output.jpg. You can rename it to output.zip to extract its contets.

Rename the .jpg to .zip by,

mv output.jpg output.zip

Extract output.zip's contents with,

unzip output.zip

That's all folks!

Tags

Lime

Simple, like quantum physics.

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