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The word steganography is derived from the Greek words steganos which means covered and graphie which means writing. Thus, steganography literally means "covered writing." Steganography has been used throughout history for secret communications. Criminals have always sought ways to conceal their activity in real, or physical space. The same is true in virtual, or cyber space. Digital steganography represents a particularly significant threat today because of the large number of digital steganography applications freely available on the Internet that can be used to hide any digital file inside of another digital file. Use of these applications, which are both easy to obtain and simple to use, allows criminals to conceal their activities in cyber space. In fact, the NIJ Guide for Electronic Crime Scene Investigation for First Responders states that potential digital evidence in child abuse, child exploitation, and terrorism investigations includes information regarding steganography. Thus, steganography presents a significant challenge to those who investigate it because detecting hidden information and then extracting that information is very difficult and may be impossible in some cases.