Top 22 Tools for Solving Steganography Challenges

In the context of CTFs steganography usually involves finding the hints or flags that have been hidden with steganography. Most commonly a media file or a image file will be given as a task with no further instructions, and the participants have to be able to uncover the hidden message that has been encoded in the media.

Example – 

Download this example.jpg file which contains some hidden information.

If you save it to your machine and open it up with an image viewer(e.g. nomacs for linux), you should be presented with a simple jpg image.

Suggested Read: The 12 Best, Must-Have Tools For Steganography

To more analyze, open the above downloaded with any hex viewer/editor (e.g. xxd for linux or HxD for windows) and you’ll see something interesting at the end of the code as shown below.

Now let’s extract the hidden data inside from this image with the example of dd command which is very versatile in nature. We know where the location of the zip file is, but dd only takes decimal values, so we convert the hexadecimal location 0x01e17ad from hex to decimal to get 1972141.

Command: dd if=example.jpg bs=1 skip=1972141

This takes in the image example.jpg, the ‘in file’ if, reads one block at a time, ‘block size’ bs, skips to block 1972141, skip, and writes it to the ‘out file’ zip we call When this completes you should have a zip file you can easily unzip to access the text file inside.

Here we’ve listed out the best steganography tools which you can easily use while solving up CTF challenges.

S.No Tool Name Description
1 Convert Convert images b/w formats and apply filters
2 Exif Shows EXIF information in JPEG files
3 Exiftool Read and write meta information in files
4 Exiv2 Image metadata manipulation tool
5 ImageMagick Tool for manipulating images
6 Outguess Universal steganographic tool
7 Pngtools For various analysis related to PNGs
8 SmartDeblur Used to deblur and fix defocused images
9 Steganabara Tool for stegano analysis written in Java
10 Stegbreak Launches brute-force dictionary attacks on JPG image
11 StegCracker Steganography brute-force utility to uncover hidden data inside files
12 Stegextract Detect hidden files and text in images
13 Steghide Hide data in various kind of images
14 Stegsolve Apply various steganography techniques to images
15 Zsteg PNG/BMP analysis
16 LSB-Steganography Python program to steganography files into images using the Least Significant Bit.
17 StegSpy Checks classical steganographical schemes
18 StegSnow A program for concealing messages in text files by appending tabs and spaces on the end of lines
19 Binwalk Firmware Analysis Tool
20 Stego-Toolkit Steganography Toolkit
21 StegDetect Performs statistical tests to find if a stego tool was used (jsteg, outguess, jphide, …).
22 StegoVeritas Yet another Stego Tool
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