This guide will show you how to hide messages in other text using the plainsight command line utility. It takes a large piece of text, like an ebook, along with a secret message, and deterministically creates a new piece of text gibberish.

The author of the app says this is to provide a less obvious way to get around censorship than just sending an encrypted file. I'm not sure how mathematically secure this is, but it is an interesting concept.

This guide was tested on a debian system, so do your own research if you're using something different.

- Youtube link
- Archive.org mirror
- Torrent
- Keybase mirror


Step 1. Make a new directory to hold the contents of this tutorial, then cd into it:

mkdir ~/plainsight
cd ~/plainsight

Step 2. Install plainsight

sudo pip install plainsight

Step 3. We'll also need to install a couple extra python packages for it to work:

sudo pip install bitstring progressbar

Step 4. We're going to use Shakespeare's Macbeth as the base text in our example. Download it from Project Gutenberg:

curl -o ~/plainsight/macbeth.txt https://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/1129/pg1129.txt

Step 5. Type your secret message and output it to a file:

echo ‘This is my super secret message. Papa bless' > cleartext

Step 6. Now pipe that message through plainsight, using the macbeth text, then output that file and name it ciphertext.

cat cleartext | plainsight -m encipher -f macbeth.txt > ciphertext

Step 7. Now read your newly encrypted file and you'll see it's made of gibberish words. The idea is that you can send this file over unsecured wires, and it will be pretty difficult to decipher.

cat ciphertext


Step 1. Take the ciphertext file, pipe it through plainsight, now using the decipher option. We'll need the exact same macbeth text, and we'll output it to a new file called msg.

cat ciphertext | plainsight -m decipher -f macbeth.txt > msg

Step 2. Now cat the msg file to reveal your original secret message.

cat msg


So yeah, that's plainsight, an interesting way to hide text in the open. Remember that there will be some files left over that you might want to securely delete.