Magikfs – The Steganographic Filesystem On Linux


Varun Suresh            Shibin.K .                 Anoop.S .                  Vivek.K.P.

Department of Computer Science & Engineering,

College Of Engineering,Thiruvananthapuram,



Guidance: Dushyant.M.P.

Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre




       Magikfs is a highly secure steganographic filesystem with the plausible deniability feature being implemented on the linux platform particularly over an existing ext2/ext3 partition without any structural modifications.The data which is already present in the filesystem is not harmed at all. Magikfs will be user friendly, easy to install and easy to give your files the highest kind of security ever offered by filesystems that exist today. Its better than encrypted filesystems due to fact that files remain hidden in Magikfs unlike that of encrypted filesystems. Magikfs is based on a design influenced by previous design of ‘Stegfs:A steganographic filesystem’ by HweeHwa PANG,  Kian-Lee TAN, Xuan ZHOU. Magikfs wil be released under the GNU public license. But even the source code is not at all enough to even attempt an attack on magikfs. Say adieu to encrypted (cryptographic) filesystems!



What is steganography?


Steganography is the clever technique of concealing sensitive data in such a way that not even the existence of the files can be proved. For example secret messages and files can easily be hidden behind images, music files etc without any perceptible change in those files. These files will look like the original without any change that can be detected by the naked eyes or ears. This technique was used by many a people for transferring sensitive data through the internet. The data is usually encrypted too, so that even if someone detects steganography being used in the carrier file, the data is still secure and cannot be retrieved by an intruder unless he knows the password. Our previous work ‘StegoMagic’ is an example for steganographic software and it can be used to hide messages or files in bmp-24bit, bmp-8bit, wav files and normal text files. Not even the size of the files will change except for text files.


          But even though the above mentioned methods existed, the need for more space began to increase and so the bigger carrier files began to be used. But the very usage of such big files for hiding is to prone to make others suspicious. Bigger carrier files were needed because the hiding algorithms used only a very small portion of the size of the original file for hiding I order to prevent making any perceptible changes. As files to be hidden increased so did the size of the files but the size of carrier files could not be increased. This led to the dawn of steganographic filesystems i.e. make changes to the filesystem itself so that data can be securely stored without danger of even being detected. (But there are size limitations in steganographic filesystems too.)