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Lecture notes for undergraduate and first-year graduate students on digital watermarking and data embedding in multimedia data.

Based on lectures developed at University of Maryland, College Park, USA.

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Steganography is the art and science of hiding data within innocent-looking objects (cover objects). Multimedia objects such as images and videos are an attractive type of cover objects due to their high embedding rates. There exist many techniques for performing steganography in both the literature and the practical world. Meanwhile, the definition of the steganographic capacity for multimedia and how to be calculated has not taken full attention.

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Audio steganography is a technology that embeds messages into audio without raising any suspicion from hearing it. Current steganography methods are based on heuristic cost designs. In this work, we proposed a framework based on Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) to approach optimal embedding for audio steganography in the temporal domain. This is the first attempt to approach optimal embedding with GAN and automatically learn the embedding probability/cost for audio steganography.

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Many portable imaging devices use the operation of “trunc” (rounding towards zero) instead of rounding as the final quantizer for computing DCT coefficients during JPEG compression. We show that this has rather profound consequences for steganography and its detection. In particular, side-informed steganography needs to be redesigned due to the different nature of the rounding error. The steganographic algorithm J-UNIWARD becomes vulnerable to steganalysis with the JPEG rich model and needs to be adjusted for this source.

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The widespread application of audio communication technologies has speeded up audio data flowing across the Internet, which made it an popular carrier for covert communication. In this paper, we present a cross-modal steganography method for hiding image content into audio carriers while preserving the perceptual fidelity of the cover audio.

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Embedding costs used in content-adaptive image steganographic schemes can be defined in a heuristic way or with a statistical model. Inspired by previous steganographic methods, i.e., MG (multivariate Gaussian model) and MiPOD (minimizing the power of optimal detector), we propose a model-driven scheme in this paper. Firstly, we model image residuals obtained by high-pass filtering with quantized multivariate Gaussian distribution. Then, we derive the approximated Fisher Information (FI). We show that FI is related to both Gaussian variance and filter coefficients.

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This paper proposes the first ever graph spectral domain blind watermarking algorithm. We explore the recently developed graph signal processing for spread-spectrum watermarking to authenticate the data recorded on non-Cartesian grids, such as sensor data, 3D point clouds, Lidar scans and mesh data. The choice of coefficients for embedding the watermark is driven by the model for minimisation embedding distortion and the robustness model.

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Recently pixel pairing and pixel sorting/selection have been used in prediction-error expansion based reversible data hiding schemes to generate low entropy prediction-error histograms (PEH) necessary for achieving high fidelity. Such schemes generally use the four-neighbor average rhombus predictor as it allows pixel sorting and flexible pixel pairing. In this paper, we propose the maximally separated averages (MSA) predictor that uses the four-neighborhood context.

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Training deep neural networks is a computationally expensive task. Furthermore, models are often derived from proprietary datasets that have been carefully prepared and labelled. Hence, creators of deep learning models want to protect their models against intellectual property theft. However, this is not always possible, since the model may, e.g., be embedded in a mobile app for fast response times. As a countermeasure watermarks for deep neural networks have been developed that embed secret information into the model.

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The method reported here realizes an inaudible echo-hiding based speech watermarking by using sparse subspace clustering (SSC). Speech signal is first analyzed with SSC to obtain its sparse and low-rank components. Watermarks are embedded as the echoes of the sparse component for robust extraction. Self-compensated echoes consisting of two independent echo kernels are designed to have similar delay offsets but opposite amplitudes. A one-bit watermark is embedded by separately performing the echo kernels on the sparse and low-rank components.

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