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Steganography

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Technique

Mohit Kumar Goel *, Dr. Neelu Jain #

*

mohitgoel4u@gmail.com

neelujain@pec.ac.in

Abstract With development in technologies, the amount of data being exchanged on internet is increasing exponentially. The security

of information can be achieved by cryptography and steganography. Cryptography hides the contents of message by converting it to an

unreadable cipher. Steganography hides the existence of message by embedding data in some other digital media like image or audio

files. The paper proposes a security system which is combination of both the techniques. In proposed system data is firstly encrypted

using RSA encryption algorithm and then embedded in an image using DCT based steganographic method. The experimental result

shows that proposed system has better PSNR value in comparison to other techniques like LSB, Modulus arithmetic steganography. It

also maintainstaisfactory security as secret message cant be extracted without knowing the decoding algorithm.

Keywords- steganography; RSA encryption; data hiding; discrete cosine transform.

I.

INTRODUCTION

very popular in many areas. The information comes in

numerous forms and requires secure communication. Such

secure communication ranges from bank transactions,

corporate communications and credit card purchases.

Encryption and steganography are the preferred techniques

for protecting the transmitted data. Encryption hides the

contents of the message, but cannot hide the message data

itself. However, encryption clearly marks a message as

containing interesting information, and the encrypted

message becomes subject to attack. The commonly used

encryption schemes include DES (Data Encryption

Standard) [1], AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) [2] and

RSA [3]. DES, an encryption standard that was used by

many national governments, successfully withstood attacks

for many years. However, E. Biham and A. Shamir mention

a cryptanalytic attack that can break DES in only a few

minutes [4]. Another example of a broken encryption

algorithm is WEP. WEP was designed to provide

confidentiality to users on wireless networks. A.

Stubblefield illustrates how WEP can be broken within

hours [5]. DES and WEP are examples of two encryption

algorithms that were thought to be secure at the time of their

design, but were broken in the future when attackers had

more powerful computational resources. So, in many cases

it is desirable to send information without being notice by

anyone that information has been sent. Steganography

conceal the secret messages within some image, music or

audio file so that it is not visible to others. Image

Spatial Domain and Frequency Domain.

A. Spatial domain steganography

Spatial domain techniques embed messages in the

intensity of the pixels directly [6][7][8]. Least Significant

Bit (LSB) is the first most widely used spatial domain

steganography technique. It embeds the bits of a message in

the LSB of the image pixels [9][10]. But the problem with

this technique is that if the image is compressed then the

embedded data may be lost. Thus, there is a fear for loss of

data that may have sensitive information [11]. LSB has been

improved by using a Pseudo Random Number Generator

(PRNG) and a secret key in order to have private access to

the embedded information [12]. The embedding process

starts with deriving a seed for a PRNG from the user

password and generating a random walk through the cover

image that makes the steganalysis hard. Another recent

improvement based on random distribution of the message

was introduced by M. Bani Younes and A. Jantan [13]. In

this method they utilize an encryption key to hide

information about horizontal and vertical blocks where the

secret message bits are randomly concealed. SSB-4

steganography approach introduced by Rodrigues, Rios and

Puech is about changing the 4th bit of a pixel in the original

image according to the bit message. Then modify the other

bits (1st, 2nd, 3rd and/or 5th) to minimize the difference

between the changed pixel value and the original one [14].

The 4th digit is a significant bit and if the image is

compressed the embedded information is not destroyed [15].

Tu C. and Tran T D. argued that the difference must be

equal or less than four (i.e., 4) [16]. The 4th bit was chosen

because it satisfies that changing of 4 units in the channel

color value is imperceptible to human eyes, and it is the

most significant bit which provides the minimum change in

the pixel values. Modulus arithmetic steganography

proposed by Sayuthi Jaafar and Azizah A Manaf has

calculated last four bits of each pixel by mod-16 operation.

Then these bits are replaced with data bits [8]. In this the

amount of the data that can be embedded is more but stego

image has less PSNR value than LSB and SSB-4

techniques.

asymmetric RSA algorithm for secure communication is

shown in fig. 1. For encryption purpose, Alice would encrypt

the message using Bobs Public key and send the cipher text

to Bob. Upon receiving the cipher text, Bob, who is owner of

corresponding private key, can then decrypt the message

with his private key. For authentication purposes, Alice

would encrypt (or sign) the message using her own private

key. Other people such as Bob can verify the authenticity of

the message by using Alices Public key, which is the only

key that matches the signing private key.

In frequency domain, images are first transformed and

then the message is embedded in the image [17][18][19].

When the data is embedded in frequency domain, the hidden

data resides in more robust areas, spread across the entire

image, and provides better resistance against statistical

attacks. There are many techniques used to transform image

from spatial domain to frequency domain. The most

common frequency domain method usually used in image

processing is the 2D discrete cosine transform [20][21]. In

this technique the image is divided into 88 blocks and

DCT transformation on each block is performed. The data

bits are embedded in the low frequency coefficients of DCT.

SSB-4 & DCT steganography proposed by Nedal M. S.

Kafri and Hani Y Suleiman uses DCT approach with SSB-4

technique [21].

Steganography with cryptography can be combined so

that, even if an attacker does realize that a message is sent,

he would still have to decode it [26]. Piyush Marwaha and

Paresh Marwaha use DES encryption and LSB

steganography for data security [25]. In this paper we

propose a method which uses RSA encryption and LSBDCT steganography for data security.

II. BACKGROUND OF CRYPTOGRAPHY

In cryptography, the message is scrambled to make it

meaningless and unintelligible unless the decryption key is

available. It makes no attempt to disguise or hide the

encoded message. Basically, cryptography offers the ability

of transmitting information between persons in a way that

prevents a third party from reading it. Cryptography can

also provide authentication for verifying the identity of

someone or something. There are several ways of

classifying cryptographic algorithms. The three types of

algorithms are:

1) Secret Key Cryptography: Uses a single key for

both encryption and decryption.

2) Public Key Cryptography: Uses one key for

encryption and another for decryption.

3) Hash

Functions:

Uses

a

mathematical

transformation

to

irreversibly

encrypt

information.

1) Select two prime numbers p, q.

2) Calculate n= p q and (n)= (p-1)(q-1)

3) Select integer e such that

gcd ( (n),e)=1; 1<e < (n)

4) Calculate d such that d e=1mod( (n))

5) Now Public key (PU) is {e, n} and Private

Key (PR) is {d, n}.

6) At sender side, message (M) to be sent is

converted into cipher text (C) as follows:

(1)

C= Me mod n

7) At receiver side, cipher text is converted to original

message as follows:

M= Cd mod n

(2)

III.

LSB-DCT STEGANOGRAPHY

blocks and two dimensional (2-D) is performed on each

block. The 2-d DCT is calculated as follow:

7 7

1

(2x 1)u (2y 1)

cos

F(u, v) C(u)C(v)f (x, y)cos

4

16 16

x0 y0

inventors: Ronald Rivest, Adi Shamir and Leonard Adleman.

RSA can be used for encryption as well as for authentication

1 / 2 for k 0

where C (k )

otherwise

1

(3)

left positions and high frequency coefficients are lower right

positions. Now image is compressed by quantization.

Quantization is achieved by dividing each element in the

DCT coefficient block by the corresponding value in the

standard quantization matrix shown in fig. 2 and the result is

rounded to the nearest integer. As eye is not able to discern

the change in high frequency components so these can be

compressed to larger extent. Lower right side components of

quantization matrix are of high value so that after

quantization high frequency components become zero.

16

12

14

14

Q

18

24

49

72

11 10 16

24

40

51

12 14 19

26

58

60

13 16 24

17 22 29

40

51

57

87

69

80

22 37 56

35 55 64

68 109 103

81 104 113

92 95 98 112 100 103

61

55

56

62

77

92

101

99

1)

2)

3)

4)

5)

6)

7)

8)

9)

Divide the cover image into 88 blocks.

Perform 2-D DCT on each block.

Perform quantization on each block.

Perform zigzag scan to convert 88 block into one

dimensional array.

Replace the LSB of DCT coefficients with data

bits.

Convert 1-D zigzag array back to 88 block.

Perform Inverse DCT on each block.

Combine all the blocks to form stego image.

by DCT transform to some extent, DCT coefficients in the

same block are still not independent, which is called as

intra-block correlation [16]. While neglecting the impact of

block edge, the general trend in magnitude of the block

coefficients in each block is non-increasing along zigzag

scan order. After block DCT coefficients are arranged by

zigzag scan pattern, dependencies among neighboring

coefficients in both horizontal and vertical directions can be

conveniently investigated [23]. Now data is embedded in

one dimensional zigzag array

a)

even or,

b) If the data bit is 1, then make the DCT coefficient

odd

After embedding data zigzag array is again converted

into 88 block. These blocks are dequantized and inverse

DCT is performed. The entire 88 blocks are combined to

form the stego image which is then sent to receiver.

At the receiver side the stego-image is received in spatial

domain. Now stego image is divided into 88 blocks and

DCT is performed on each block. Then scan the DCT block

in zigzag way and extract the embedded data.

IV.

PROPOSED METHOD

camouflage a secret message in an image without

perceptible degrading the image quality and to provide

better resistance against the steganalysis process. The data is

first converted into cipher text using RSA encryption and

then hided into lower frequency components of image using

LSB-DCT steganography.

A. Embedding algorithm

Steps of embedding algorithm are given as follow:

Input: An MN size cover image and data to be concealed.

B. Extraction algorithm

Steps for extraction algorithm are given as follows:

Input: An MN size Stego image.

Output: Secret message.

1)

2)

3)

4)

Perform 2-D DCT on each block.

Perform quantization on each block.

Perform zigzag scan to convert 88 block into one

dimensional array.

5) Check the DCT coefficient.

a) If DCT coefficient is even then data bit is 0 or,

b) If DCT coefficient is odd then data bit is 1.

6) Concatenate the bits to obtain cipher message.

7) Decrypt the cipher text using decryption keys and

display original message on screen.

V.

EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS

on the nature of the image [24] so, varieties of image

categories are utilized in the experiments. The experimental

image data set consists of 100 JPEG images, which were

length of 3000 bits because they are the most challenging to

detect [24]. Comparative analysis of LSB, Modulus

arithmetic (mod-16), and proposed method has been done

on the basis of Peak signal to noise ratio (PSNR). To

calculate PSNR, first MSE is calculated as follows:

MSE

1 m 1 n 1

I (i, j ) K (i, j )

mn i 0 j 0

steanography technique, is given in table 1, shows that

proposed steganography method has better image quality of

stego image than other techniques.

Table 1. Comparative analysis of PSNR values of different steganography

techniques

PSNR Value

( 4)

Image

image (I) and stego image (K). Thereafter PSNR value is

calculated as follow:

MAX i2

PSNR 10. log 10

MSE

MAX i

20. log10

MSE

(5)

In other words MAXi = 2b 1, where b is the bit depth of

the original image. PSNR computes the peak signal to noise

ratio, in decibels, between two images. This ratio is used as

quality measurement between two images.

LSB

Modulus

(mod-16)

Human.jpg

52.10

49.23

55.87

Flower.jpg

53.54

50.53

56.36

Building.jpg

52.43

48.77

54.59

Tree.jpg

53.46

50.46

55.57

V.

CONCLUSION

In this paper we used mixed approach cryptography and

steganography is used for data security. By using RSA

encryption, ASCII codes corresponding to characters of

plain text are converted into 16 bits encrypted codes. Hence

it becomes difficult to get original text without knowing

decryption keys. Then cipher data is hided into cover image.

Average PSNR value of 55 is obtained for 100 images using

proposed method. The obtained experimental results

indicate that, the proposed method is a good and acceptable

scheme for data security. Furthermore, by embedding

information in the least significant bits of the DCT domain,

the hidden message resides in more robust areas, spread

across the entire stego image, and provides better resistance

against statistical attacks than other techniques. The future

work may focus on the improvement and further

development in this technique.

VI.

[1]

[2]

[3]

[4]

[5]

[6]

[7]

[8]

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