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Steganographic Analysis, Filtration and Elimination (SAFE)

Research in the area of steganography, as well as the state of the art for security systems, is dominated by a reactive paradigm of detection and response. However, by the time this reaction occurs, substantial damage may have already occurred. To proactively stifle steganography, covert channels, and other network attacks, the RADIANT team is developing active warden security systems.

Using our model, all network traffic is routed through active wardens which modify communications as to preserve overt communications, yet prevent the propagation of extraneous or ambiguous information that can be used for exploitation such as covert channels, subliminal channels, and certain forms of intrusion detection and intrusion detection evasion.

This is done by perturbing possible carriers to the level of their Minimal Requisite Fidelity (MRF), which represents the degree of signal fidelity that is both acceptable to end users but destructive to covert channels. For a class of "unstructured" carriers, MRF is defined by human perception, but for a class of "structured" carriers, well-known semantics give us high assurance that a warden can completely eliminate any subliminal or covert channels.