MAT: Metadata Anonymisation Toolkit

MAT: Metadata Anonymisation Toolkit

August 9, 2017
By: Tech_Advancer

Whether you know it or not, the pictures you take with your cell phone/camera, the pictures you upload to social media sites, and many pictures from the internet contain pieces of data to track where and when a picture came from. The data can include: your GPS coordinates, the time/date, your username, your type of cell phone/camera, your wifi name, and many other pieces of information that can be used to track who took the picture and when.

You might be asking, "What is MAT?". MAT is a tool to remove metadata from images. It strips out all the metadata it can find in pictures. First, let's see what kind of metadata you can find in a picture. Take a picture with your phone or camera and move it to your linux machine. Then install the following program via command line:

sudo apt-get install libimage-exiftool-perl

Exiftool lets you see and edit the metadata that is in a picture. Although exiftool can do a lot of amazing things, we are just going to use it to see what is inside of your picture. Run this command:

exiftool yourPicture.jpg

What you get back can be pretty surprising and scary. So, let's cleanup that metadata. Let's install MAT now:

sudo apt-get install mat

MAT has a GUI, so go to your menu and open it.

You can probably figure it out simply by looking at it. You add a picture by clicking on "Add". After adding a picture, the right side will tell you if it is "Clean" of metadata, or "Dirty". If it is "Dirty", you simply click on the "Clean" button. After the state on the right changes to "Clean", open your picture to see if it worked. Just be careful, I've had a few pictures get messed up after trying to remove the metadata. It would probably be a good idea to make a copy and see if the copy works before deleting the original.

It is that simple! Now that you can remove metadata, imagine being able to hide your own data and files inside of your pictures. If that interests you, head over to our steghide tutorial next.

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