Posts Tagged ‘hide’
Hiding specific files in Ubuntu and Mint is done by placing a dot (.) in front of their name, e.g. renaming the file muh to .muh will mark it as hidden and render it invisible the next time you open its directory (this does not work on the desktop).
To make files hidden without altering their name, create a new document called .hidden in the folder where the files that you want to hide are located. Enter the names of the files into the document, one name per line, then save it. Open the target folder to check if it worked.
To make hidden files visible, simply hit Ctrl + H.
One of the basic things one does while configuring a Windows system is to enable viewing hidden files. So basically it is impossible to hide files by making them “hidden”.
What helps against most nosy people though is to make a file a system file or folder – that way the tagged file will remain hidden even if “hidden” files are made visible (of course one can still make system files visible but few people will enable that since it’s usually not necessary).
To tag a file a system file, open a command prompt by entering cmd into your search bar. Enter following into the command line, replacing the path I use with the one to your file (+s is for systemfile and +h is for hidden):
attrib +s +h C:\Users\howtoforge\Desktop\bla
To make it visible again, just turn the plusses into minusses:
attrib -s -h C:\Users\howtoforge\Desktop\bla
Apart from alternate data streams, there is another, perhaps easier way to hide files within others. All you need for it is WinRar (download the 32 or 64 bit version, depending on what operating system you use). To simplify things, I also like to install WinRar’s context menu items.
First off, you need the files you want to merge – I will slip a folder into a picture file. Right click the item you want to hide and select Add to “secret.rar” from WinRar’s context menu:
Afterwards open a command line by searching the Windows menu for cmd or entering the same into a Run prompt, which you get by hitting Windows key + R. In the command line interface, change directoy to the location of the two files you want to merge (I have them on my desktop here):
Afterwards, copy the files together with the /b switch by seperating them with plus characters and choosing a third destination file – choose another picture file (which will be created by the command) if you want to hide your stuff in a picture (use the exact syntax):
copy /b Koala.jpg + secret.rar NewPicture.jpg
The new file will appear in the folder you directed the command line to, the desktop in my example. To view the hidden content, open up WinRar and go to File > Open archive. From the drop-down menu where it says All archives, choose All files instead and browse the picture you just created. Double click it and you should be able to see the stuff you placed in there!
The only thing to complain about is that this method increases the output object’s displayed size.
There is a feature in NTFS data system that lets you easily hide your files from nosy people using your computer which is called Alternate Data Streams. What they basically do is to hide files behind others, using them as a “container”, but they only are executable if you enter a specific syntax in your command line. I will show you in a few examples.
I have the text document mysecrets.txt which I want to hide inside the legal.txt document. They are both placed directly on my C:\ drive to simplify things. To achieve that, I open a command line and type in:
type C:\mysecrets.txt >C:\legal.txt:mysecrets.txt
With the type command, you can stuff any file into an alternate data stream. Next you give the file to hide, followed by a greater-than sign, followed by the the path where you want to hide the file – here, give the file you want to stuff things in, a colon, and the hidden file’s name (this can basically be any, you call the hidden file by this given name then). The colon is the trademark of an alternate data stream, every file separated from another file with a colon will become the first file’s alternate data stream.
Text files are not the only files you can hide away with alternate data streams, basically you can do it with any file, even executables. However you cannot open every file from an alternate data stream – starting executables for example has been disabled for security’s sake because, as you might have noticed, AltDS can be used to build pretty evil malware. To open a hidden file, you just pick the program to do so and open it the usual way through the command line, for example like this:
You can also do this for videos, music, whatever, just pick the appropriate application. For executables however, this is no longer possible. However there are some slightly more complicated workarounds to do this. You can either have a symlink of the hidden file made, which is then executable and deletable afterwards, or write commands into the hidden file which can be executed by the shell, creating another executable or whatever you want to do with it.
Be aware however that alternate data streams will be lost after moving their containers to another server! It is not possible to mail multi-streamed files, even if the receiving file system is NTFS formatted.
To uncover alternate data streams on Windows Vista or later, direct your command line tool to the folder you want to check and enter
dir /r C:\path\to\your\folder
You cannot hide whole folders in alternate data streams, except if they are compressed.
The easiest way to delete alternate data streams is to copy the whole file onto another data system via explorer, ftp or mail. However there is also software to detect and deal with them.