A novel covert channel based on the IP header record route option

Zouheir Trabelsi, Hesham El-Sayed, Lilia Frikha, Tamer Rabie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper we propose a novel covert channel for exchanging secret information, based on the IP header record route options. Instead of encrypting a secret message or embedding it into a multimedia object, as in traditional steganography, we process the entire message and generate several IP packets with different types to carry the secret information. Thereby we foil an eavesdropper who is primarily applying statistical tests to detect encrypted channels. We show that our approach provides more protection against steganalysis and sniffing attacks, and gives a covert channel capacity which is an order of magnitude higher than traditional methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)328-350
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Advanced Media and Communication
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • Covert channel
  • Hidden information
  • IP header record route option
  • Steganalysis
  • Traceroute

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication


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