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Blind Robust Transparent DCT-Based Digital Image Watermarking for Copyright Protection

Blind Robust Transparent DCT-Based Digital Image Watermarking for Copyright Protection

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Published by ijcsis
This paper proposes a novel technique for grayscale digital image watermarking using monochrome watermarks in the DCT domain. The proposed technique combines the contradictory goals of robustness against intentional and unintentional attacks with transparency in addition to blindness. We propose the combination of three techniques: Torus Automorphism (TA) permutation, a pseudo-random number generator, and visual cryptography to achieve high degree of robustness against intentional attacks. On the other hand, robustness against unintentional attacks is achieved not only by watermarking the low frequency DCT components, but also by intelligently utilizing the more robust relative values of these low frequencies instead of their absolute values. Experimental results using two test images prove the robustness of the proposed technique against several types of unintentional attacks: median filtering, blurring, sharpening, Gaussian noise addition, salt and pepper noise addition, and JPEG compression. Blindness is achieved using only few keys and two transparencies or shares for watermark extraction. In the literature, the size of the shares is usually double the size of the host image and consequently the process of generating the shares is usually time-consuming. In the proposed technique, generating the shares is straightforward and fast. Also, their size is exactly equal to the watermark size. To achieve 100% transparency, the proposed technique does not change any pixel values of the host image.
This paper proposes a novel technique for grayscale digital image watermarking using monochrome watermarks in the DCT domain. The proposed technique combines the contradictory goals of robustness against intentional and unintentional attacks with transparency in addition to blindness. We propose the combination of three techniques: Torus Automorphism (TA) permutation, a pseudo-random number generator, and visual cryptography to achieve high degree of robustness against intentional attacks. On the other hand, robustness against unintentional attacks is achieved not only by watermarking the low frequency DCT components, but also by intelligently utilizing the more robust relative values of these low frequencies instead of their absolute values. Experimental results using two test images prove the robustness of the proposed technique against several types of unintentional attacks: median filtering, blurring, sharpening, Gaussian noise addition, salt and pepper noise addition, and JPEG compression. Blindness is achieved using only few keys and two transparencies or shares for watermark extraction. In the literature, the size of the shares is usually double the size of the host image and consequently the process of generating the shares is usually time-consuming. In the proposed technique, generating the shares is straightforward and fast. Also, their size is exactly equal to the watermark size. To achieve 100% transparency, the proposed technique does not change any pixel values of the host image.

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Published by: ijcsis on Nov 02, 2010
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(IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security,Vol. 8, o. 7, 2010
 
Blind Robust Transparent DCT-Based Digital ImageWatermarking for Copyright Protection
 Hanan Elazhary and Sawsan Morkos
Computers and Systems DepartmentElectronics Research InstituteCairo, Egypt{hanan,sawsan}@eri.sci.eg
 Abstract 
 —This paper proposes a novel technique for grayscaledigital image watermarking using monochrome watermarks inthe DCT domain. The proposed technique combines thecontradictory goals of robustness against intentional andunintentional attacks with transparency in addition to blindness.We propose the combination of three techniques: TorusAutomorphism (TA) permutation, a pseudo-random numbergenerator, and visual cryptography to achieve high degree of robustness against intentional attacks. On the other hand,robustness against unintentional attacks is achieved not only bywatermarking the low frequency DCT components, but also byintelligently utilizing the more robust relative values of these lowfrequencies instead of their absolute values. Experimental resultsusing two test images prove the robustness of the proposedtechnique against several types of unintentional attacks: medianfiltering, blurring, sharpening, Gaussian noise addition, salt andpepper noise addition, and JPEG compression. Blindness isachieved using only few keys and two transparencies or sharesfor watermark extraction. In the literature, the size of the sharesis usually double the size of the host image and consequently theprocess of generating the shares is usually time-consuming. In theproposed technique, generating the shares is straightforward andfast. Also, their size is exactly equal to the watermark size. Toachieve 100% transparency, the proposed technique does notchange any pixel values of the host image.
 Keywords- watermarking; image processing; security
I.
 
I
 NTRODUCTION
 The Internet has become the most popular channel for transmitting various forms of multimedia digital data.Multimedia data in digital format can be modified and illegallyused with ease. Thus, the copyright protection of digital imagestransmitted over the Internet has become an important researchtopic in recent years. In the past few years, two research topicsthat are related to but different from the above topic have been proposed in the literature. One is image authentication and theother is image data hiding. The goal of image authentication isto verify the originality of an image by detecting maliciousmanipulations. Most of the earlier techniques in the literaturetreated some practical manipulations such as imagecompression and image enhancement as attacks. Lin and Chang proposed an image authentication technique which can detectmalicious manipulations but allow JPEG lossy compression[1]. Hiding data in images involves embedding a large amountof secret data into the host image with minimal perceptibledegradation of host image quality. Unfortunately, the hidingcapacity of secret data and the distortion of the host image are atradeoff since more hidden data always result in more distortionof the host image [2].Digital image watermarking is a method for ownershipassertion and copyright protection. In such a technique, thewatermark is embedded into the host image such that theembedded watermark can be later extracted to make anassertion about the host image ownership. There are twoessential requirements for this purpose. The first requirement isthe invisibility or transparency of the embedded watermark. Inother words, the embedded watermark should not be perceived by human eyes and should not degrade the quality of thewatermarked host image. The other requirement is therobustness of the embedded watermark. In other words, theembedded watermark should be able to resist both intentionaland unintentional attacks. In intentional attacks, the attackerstry to extract the embedded watermark for subsequentdestruction. In other words, they alter some parameters of thewatermarked host image to prevent legal owners fromextracting the watermark for ownership assertion. Inunintentional attacks, on the other hand, the watermarked hostimage is treated using image processing techniques includingcompression and filtering. Digital image watermarking could be done in the spatial domain [3-5] or in a transform domainincluding Discrete Cosine Transform (DCT) [6-8], DiscreteWavelet Transform (DWT) [9, 10] or a combination of suchdomains [11, 12]. Embedding a watermark into a transformdomain rather than the spatial domain is more robust, and hashigher resistance to various attacks [13]. Digital imagewatermarking techniques can be classified according to thewatermark extraction process as follows [4]:
 
 Non-blind techniques that require both the secret key(s)for watermark embedding and the original host image.
 
Semi-blind techniques that require both the secret key(s)for watermark embedding and the embedded watermark  bit sequence.
 
Blind techniques that require only the secret key(s) for watermark embedding. Neither the original host imagenor the embedded watermark bit sequence is needed.In this paper, we propose a novel digital-imagewatermarking technique that incorporates the importantcharacteristics discussed above (robustness, transparency, and
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(IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security,Vol. 8, o. 7, 2010
 
 blindness) for embedding a monochrome watermark into agrayscale host image. Since, as mentioned in Section I, it has been shown that embedding a watermark into a transformdomain rather than the spatial domain is more robust, and hashigher resistance to various attacks [13], the proposedtechnique embeds the watermark in the DCT domain. Thistechnique is discussed in the rest of the paper.The paper is organized as follows: Section II discussesrelated research in the literature and discusses the shortcomingsthat call for developing the technique proposed in the paper.Section III describes the proposed technique in terms of theembedding and the extraction processes and emphasizes itsadvantages. Section IV provides experimental results thatdemonstrate the robustness of the proposed technique againstunintentional attacks. Finally, Section V provides thediscussion and conclusions of the paper.II.
 
ELATED
W
ORK 
 Many techniques in the literature have been proposed for digital image watermarking for copyright protection. It has been shown that embedding a watermark into a transformdomain rather than the spatial domain is more robust and hashigher resistance to attacks [13]. Thus, most of these techniquesembedded the watermark in the transform domain(s) to achieverobustness against unintentional attacks. The DCT domain isone of these transform domains that has been frequently used inthe literature. In the DCT domain, embedding the watermark inthe insignificant components (high frequencies) makes hidingthe watermark easier, but the embedded watermark is lessresilient to attacks. On the other hand, embedding thewatermark in the most significant components (DC or lowfrequencies) makes the embedded watermark robust againstunintentional attacks. But, this makes hiding the watermark harder, which may degrade the host image quality. This is because low frequency components contain more energy thanhigh frequency components and the human perception systemis more sensitive to low frequency components. Saryazdi et al.[6] embedded a given watermark bit in the five first low ACcoefficients. Similarly, Lin et al [7] embedded two watermark  bits in the seven low frequency locations. Patra et al. [8]randomly selected a low frequency location for embedding agiven watermark bit. However, the disadvantage of thesetechniques is that they physically embed the watermark bitswhich result in changing some pixels of the host image anddegrading its quality. Also, another disadvantage of the abovetechniques is that they utilize the absolute values of the DCTcoefficients. Unfortunately, these values can easily changeunder unintentional attacks. Thus, some techniques in theliterature called for 100% transparent watermarking without physical embedding of the watermark [3, 4]. The result is awatermarked image with no distortion. The proposedtechnique does not change any pixel value of the DCT-transformed host image and also attempts to utilize the morerobust relative values of the DCT coefficients instead of theabsolute values.Several research studies in the literature aimed atdeveloping watermarking techniques that are robust againstintentional attacks. This has been achieved by the use of TorusAutomorphism (TA) permutation for scrambling the watermark [7, 14-16] before embedding into the host image. Using a pseudo-random number generator to select arbitrary host image blocks and/or watermark bits for embedding has also been proposed in the literature [8]. The proposed techniquecombines Torus Automorphism (TA) permutation and a pseudo-random number generator to increase robustnessagainst intentional attacks.To increase this robustness even further, digital imagewatermarking based on visual cryptography [13], [17] has been proposed. Visual cryptography uses a codebook to divide awatermarked host image into several different transparencies,shares, or sharing images. When the copyright problem needsto be resolved, the ownership verification information can beobtained by stacking several sharing images. One or more of these shares could be registered to the Certified Authority (CA)for additional security and protection against intentionalattacks. Because visual cryptography has good performance in protecting copyright of digital media [18], it has gained muchattention of researchers in recent years. The problem with thesetechniques is that generating the shares is always timeconsuming. Besides, the size of each share is usually too large.For example, according to the Naor and Shamir scheme [17],each pixel of a given host image is replaced by 2×2 pixels.Hence, a host image with M by N pixels can be divided intotwo sharing images with 2M by 2N pixels. This scheme is the predominant technique used in the literature for this purpose[13]. This calls for developing a technique that can quicklygenerate shares of much smaller sizes. The idea of our  proposed technique is to quickly generate a different kind of shares with much smaller size as long as they have the sameadvantage: helping in obtaining ownership verificationinformation. The proposed technique is described in thefollowing section.0 12 3
Figure 1. Possible embedding locations in a 4*4 DCT-transformed block.
III.
 
T
HE
P
ROPOSED
T
ECHNIQUE
 The proposed technique can be described in terms of thewatermark embedding process and the watermark extraction process.
 A.
 
The Watermark Embedding Process
The steps of the proposed watermark embedding processcan be described as follows:
 
Step 1
: Divide the host image into non-overlapping 4 *4 blocks.
 
Step 2
: Use Torus Automorphism (TA) permutation[14] to disarrange the watermark bits using thefollowing equation:
184http://sites.google.com/site/ijcsis/ISSN 1947-5500
 
(IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security,Vol. 8, o. 7, 2010
 
m ji ji
mod*111**
            
+=
(1)Equation (1) indicates that each bit of the watermark atlocation (i, j) will be moved to a new location (i*, j*).Parameters k and m are secret keys needed for disarranging and rearranging the watermark bits. These permuted watermark bits will be embedded bit by bitand line by line into the host image.
 
Step 3
: Arrange the host image blocks sequentially one by one and row by row. Use a pseudo-random number generator to determine the sequence of host image blocks used for embedding the permuted watermark  bits. A pseudo-random number generator with a givenseed always generates the same sequence of randomnumbers. Thus, the seed of the pseudo-random number generator is a secret key needed to embed and extractthe permuted watermark bits. Steps 2 and 3 offer cryptographic protection against intentional attacks because the secret keys of the pseudo-random number generator and TA permutation are necessary for extracting and rearranging the embedded watermark for subsequent destruction.
 
Step 4
: DCT-transform the next host image block fromthe spatial domain to the frequency domain. Each block is DCT-transformed using the following equation [6]:
++===
   j y  i x   x   y y x pixel  ji ji DCT 
2)12( cos2)12( cos*1010),(*)(*)(),(
π  π  
(2)where
0,12)(),(
==
 ji for   otherwise   ji
 In equation (2), DCT (i, j) represents the value atlocation (i, j) in the DCT-transformed block, while pixel(x, y) represents the value at location (x, y) in theoriginal block. N is the number of locations (pixels) ineach block.
 
Step 5
: Embed the next permuted watermark bit into thelow frequencies of the DCT-transformed block. Toincrease the robustness of the embedded watermark against unintentional attacks, as explained in Section II,the locations for embedding the permuted watermark bitare restricted to the low frequency locations 0, 1, 2, and3 as shown in Figure 1. The embedding location withthe largest DCT coefficient is selected as the embeddinglocation for a permuted watermark bit with value 1,while the embedding location with the smallest DCTcoefficient is selected as the embedding location for a permuted watermark bit with value 0. It should be notedthat the largest and the smallest values of the DCTcoefficients are relative values that are unlikely tochange under attacks. This technique, thus, attempts toutilize the more robust relative values of the DCTcoefficients instead of the absolute values that can easilychange under attacks. It should be also noted that we donot need to physically embed the permuted watermark  bit. We only need to remember its embedding location.This implies that in the proposed technique theembedded watermark is 100% transparent. Since thereare only 4 possible embedding locations, we need onlytwo bits to represent each embedding location. For example, (0, 0), (0, 1), (1, 0), and (1, 1) can be used torepresent embedding locations 0, 1, 2, and 3respectively. Thus, the permuted watermark bit isreplaced by two bits representing its embeddinglocation. Steps 4 and 5 are repeated until all the permuted watermark bits have been embedded in theDCT-transformed host image blocks. Since each permuted watermark bit is represented by its embeddinglocation and since an embedding location is represented by two bits, the final result is an array with double thesize of the watermark array.
 
Step 6
: After embedding all the permuted watermark  bits into the DCT-transformed host image blocks, theresultant array of the embedding locations of the permuted watermark bits is decomposed into two arrayswith the same size. The first array stores the first bitrepresenting each permuted watermark bit embeddinglocation, while the second array stores the second bit.The two arrays are of the same size as the watermark array and are considered to be the watermark shares or transparencies [17]. For example, suppose that theembedding location of the permuted watermark bit (a, b)is location 1 as shown in Figure 1. This embeddinglocation is represented by (0, 1). Thus, thecorresponding value of the bit (a, b) in share or transparency 1 is 0 and in share or transparency 2 is 1.One of the generated transparencies or shares is public,while the other is secret and is registered to the CertifiedAuthority (CA) for additional security and protectionagainst intentional attacks (that attempt to extract theembedded watermark for subsequent destruction) asmentioned before.
 
Step 7
: Finally, inverse DCT-transform eachwatermarked block from the frequency domain to thespatial domain forming the watermarked host imageusing the following equation [6]:
++===
   j y  i x ji DCT   i   j ji y x pixel 
2)12( cos2)12( cos*),(* 1010)(*)(),(
π  π  
(3)
185http://sites.google.com/site/ijcsis/ISSN 1947-5500

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