Digital imaging: Insurers, publishers, law-enforcement agencies and dating sites are using software that can detect the digital manipulation of photos

THE photo splashed across front pages worldwide in July 2008 showed four Iranian test missiles blasting skywards. Released by the media arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, Sepah News, the picture (right, top) was soon found to have been manipulated: one missile had been cloned and appeared twice, evidently to conceal the fact that another had failed to lift off (see original image, right, bottom). Governments have long doctored photos for political reasons. In Nazi Germany and Communist Russia, senior figures who fell from favour were commonly airbrushed out of photographs. Now, thanks to digital technology, image manipulation is available to everyone, and nefarious uses are becoming far more widespread. Read The Rest