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Improving embedding efficiency for digital steganography by exploiting similarities between secret and cover images

Abstract

Digital steganography is becoming a common tool for protecting sensitive communications in various applications such as crime/terrorism prevention whereby law enforcing personals need to remotely compare facial images captured at the scene of crime with faces databases of known criminals/suspects; exchanging military maps or surveillance video in hostile environment/situations; privacy preserving in the healthcare systems when storing or exchanging patient’s medical images/records; and prevent bank customers’ accounts/records from being accessed illegally by unauthorized users. Existing digital steganography schemes for embedding secret images in cover image files tend not to exploit various redundancies in the secret image bit-stream to deal with the various conflicting requirements on embedding capacity, stego-image quality, and undetectibility. This paper is concerned with the development of innovative image procedures and data hiding schemes that exploit, as well as increase, similarities between secret image bit-stream and the cover image LSB plane. This will be achieved in two novel steps involving manipulating both the secret and the cover images, prior to embedding, to achieve higher 0:1 ratio in both the secret image bit-stream and the cover image LSB plane. The above two steps strategy has been exploited to use a bit-plane(s) mapping technique, instead of bit-plane(s) replacement to make each cover pixel usable for secret embedding. This paper will demonstrate that this strategy produces stego-images that have minimal distortion, high embedding efficiency, reasonably good stego-image quality and robustness against 3 well-known targeted steganalysis tools.

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Correspondence to Alan A. Abdulla.

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Appendix

Appendix

Fig. 14
figure 14

Diagram for embedding procedure for the proposed image-based steganography

Fig. 15
figure 15

Diagram for extracting procedure for the proposed image-based steganography

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Abdulla, A.A., Sellahewa, H. & Jassim, S.A. Improving embedding efficiency for digital steganography by exploiting similarities between secret and cover images. Multimed Tools Appl 78, 17799–17823 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11042-019-7166-7

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11042-019-7166-7

Keywords

  • Steganography
  • Steganalysis
  • Security
  • Embedding efficiency
  • Least significant bit (LSB)