Clandestine message passing in virtual environments
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Virtual Environments (VEs) present a new challenge for government officials attempting to monitor computer networks for terrorist communication. VEs bring new dimensions to online communication through visual appearance and state maintaining servers. In this thesis, various VEs will be explored to study what current abilities and usage patterns exist. Once characteristics of the VEs are established, clandestine methods for passing information will be developed along with proof of concepts. Visual cues, steganography and autonomous bots will be examined. Monitoring techniques are then discussed to attempt observation and analysis of this information at various levels. The expectation is that these results will improve awareness and solidify an understanding of the more surreptitious capabilities present in these networked environments.