The Vietnam War


Another well-publicized example of steganography happened during the height of the Vietnam War. Commander Jeremiah Denton was a naval pilot who had been shot down and captured. At one point he was taken by the North Vietnamese and paraded around in front of the media as part of a propaganda event. Knowing that he was under the proverbial microscope and unable to say anything openly critical about his captors he blinked his eyes in Morse code, spelling out T-O-R-T-U-R-E, as he spoke to the media.

During the Vietnam era, there were instances where captured members of the U.S. Armed Forces would use various hand gestures during photo ops; often, these gestures were airbrushed out by the media. Prisoners of the infamous Hanoi Hilton used a "tap code" to communicate with each other. The code was based on a five-by-five matrix, with each letter being assigned a tap sequence based on this matrix. Spaces (pauses) between characters were twice as long as the spaces in that letter's code (Table 3.1).

Table 3.1: The 5 5 Tap Code Used by Prisoners in Vietnam

1

2

3

4

5

1

A . .

B . ..

C, K .

D . .

E . ..

2

F .. .

G .. ..

H ..

I .. .

J .. ..

3

L .

M ..

N

O .

P ..

4

Q . .

R . ..

S .

T . .

U . ..

5

V .. .

W .. ..

X ..

Y .. .

Z .. ..




Investigator's Guide to Steganography
Investigators Guide to Steganography
ISBN: 0849324335
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 220

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