Schneier on Security
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September 29, 2006
Friday Squid Blogging: Steganographic Squid
Seems that some squid can hide messages in their skin:
In the animal world, squid are masters of disguise. Pigmented skin cells enable them to camouflage themselves—almost instantaneously—from predators. Squid also produce polarized skin patterns by regulating the iridescence of their skin, possibly creating a "hidden communication channel"? visible only to animals that are sensitive to polarized light.
Mäthger and Hanlon’s findings present the first anatomical evidence for a “hidden communication channel"? that can remain masked by typical camouflage patterns. Their results suggest that it might be possible for squid to send concealed polarized signals to one other while staying camouflaged to fish or mammalian predators, most of which do not have polarization vision.
My favorite security stories are from the natural world. Evolution results in some of the most interesting security countermeasures.
Posted on September 29, 2006 at 2:59 PM
• 10 Comments
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I believe that squid can also 'flash' colours at a rate higher than we can perceive - therefore they could be easily write "you must feed the squid" on their sides to subliminally sugest that divers feed them.
Did anyone ever see the famous wild octopus with the 'BP' (British Petrolium) emblem on it ? The emblem was on the oxygen tank of the camerman, and I guess the 'puss thought that it was safest to look like the diver (creatures don't generally attack unharmed creatures of similar species and size)
The 'mimmic octopus' goes one better - pretending to be the PREDATOR of the thing that's too near it - not just colour, but shape and behaviour too. Awesome eh?
Kind of like a IPS redirecting web application probes to return content from the FBI website :-)
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