Forensic Magazine® | Articles | Calling The Shots: New Technique Links Digital Images to Exact Camera
An example of the ‘noise’ researchers believe to be unique to each digital camera,allowing digital images to be linked to the precise camera that shot thephotograph. (Binghamton University photo.)
Fridrich said that means that as long as examiners have either the camera that took the image ormultiple images they know were taken by the same camera, an algorithm she developed can extractand define the camera’s unique pattern of pixel-to-pixel nonuniformity.“The defense in these kind of cases has often been that the images were not taken by this person’scamera or that the images are not of real children,” Fridrich said. Sometimes child pornographers willeven cut and paste an image of an adult’s head on the image of a child to try to avoid prosecution,she said.“But if it can be shown that the original images were taken by the person’s cell phone or camera, itbecomes a much stronger case than if you just have a bunch of digital images that we all know arenotoriously easy to manipulate.”Like actual fingerprints, the digital “noise” in original digital images is stochastic in nature – that is, itcontains random variables – which are inevitably created during the manufacturing process of thecamera and its sensors.
Binghamton electrical and computer engineering researcherJessica Fridrich has devised a technique able to trace specificdigital photographs back to the exact digital camera that tookthe photo, much the same as ballistics can trace bullets toguns that fired them. (Binghamton University photo.)
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