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Steganography is the practice of hiding private or sensitive information within something that

appears to be nothing out to the usual. Steganography is often confused with cryptology because

the two are similar in the way that they both are used to protect important information. The

difference between two is that steganography involves hiding information so it appears that no

information is hidden at all. If a person or persons views the object that the information is hidden

inside of he or she will have no idea that there is any hidden information, therefore the person will

not attempt to decrypt the information. What steganography essentially does is exploit human

perception, human senses are not trained to look for files that have information inside of them,

although this software is available that can do what is called Steganography. The most common use

of steganography is to hide a file inside another file.

The definition of steganography can be explained clearly by using adjectives like cover,

embedded and stego. Steganography simply grabs a piece of information and hides that

information within another piece of information. Many computer files such as audio files, text files,

images contain few blocks of data that is either unused or not significant. Steganography takes

advantage of these unused areas and hides the encrypted message

Steganography can be broadly classified into four categories and these are:

1) Text Steganography 2) Image Steganography 3) Audio Steganography 4) Video Steganography

1) Text Steganography: A steganography technique that uses text as the cover media is called

a text steganography. It is one of the most difficult types of the steganography technique. This is

because text files have a very small amount of redundant data to hide a secret message.

2) Audio Steganography: A steganography technique that uses audio as the cover media is called

an audio steganography. It is the most challenging task in steganography.

3) Video Steganography: A steganography technique that uses video as the cover media is called

image steganography.

4) Image Steganography: A steganography technique that uses images as the cover media is

called an image steganography. Hiding secret messages in digital images is the most widely used

method as it can take advantage of the limited power of the human visual system (HVS) and also

because images have a large amount of redundant information that can be used to hide a secret

message.

Image steganography terminologies are as follows:-

Cover-Image: Original image which is used as a carrier for hidden information.

Message: Actual information which is used to hide into images. Message could be a plain text

or some other image.

Stego-Image: After embedding message into cover image is known as stego-image.

Stego-Key: A key is used for embedding or extracting the messages from cover-images and

stego-images

include Spatial and Frequency domains. Spatial domain embedding is based on physical location

of pixels in an image. Here the LSBs if the cover medium were replaced by secret bits. It is a

simple method for data embedding but cannot withstand or resist attacks like transforms or

compression but their payload is high. Conversely in transform domain method, the medium is

manipulated indirectly and the image is transformed into its frequency domain. Types of spatial

domain methods:

A. LSB encoding

In LSB encoding technique, the embedding is done in those bits which carry least weight so that

value of the original pixel does not change. This encoding technique hides secret message into

the least significant bits of the cover image without introducing any distortions which may be

percept by the human eyes. Because of this various methods revolving around LSB have been

developed.

B. LSB replacement

This method employs only the LSB plane of the cover image where it is overwritten with the secret

bit stream according to the pseudo random number generator [1]. This introduced some

asymmetry so it became easy to detect or crack steganography.

C. LSB matching

LSB matching is another method which employs a minor modification to LSB replacement

technique. If the secret bit does not match the LSB of the cover image, then +1 or -1 is randomly

added to the corresponding pixel value. This could avoid the asymmetry artifacts introduced by

LSB replacement.

This method uses a pair of pixels as an embedding unit, in which the least significant bits of the first

pixels carries one bit of secret message and the relationship of the two pixel values carries

another bit of secret message. By this method the modification rate of pixels can decrease

apparently meaning fewer changes to the cover image at the same payload compared to LSB

replacement and LSBM.

This method was developed to increase the embedding capacity. It divides the cover image into

many non-overlapping units with the two consecutive pixels. The gray scale image is used as a

cover image with long bit stream as secret data. The difference value di is calculated by

subtracting the two consecutive pixels pi from pi+1. The set of all difference values may range

from -255 to 255. Therefore, di ranges from 0 to 255. [9]The blocks with small difference value

locates in smooth area where block with large difference values are the sharp edged area.

According to the properties of human vision, eyes can tolerate more changes in sharp-edge area

than smooth area. So, more data can be embedded into edge area than smooth areas.

In SVD method the secret is embedded either in left singular vector, right singular vector, singular

values or it may be the combination of Spatial and Transform domain. The cover image is

divided into many blocks for embedding the secret message. This method provides protection

against cropping attack, compression attack, Gamma correction or Impulse noise attacks.

Histograms are used for graphical representation of image and it represents the density at a particular

pixel. It plots the pixel for each part of the image. A histogram is useful in identifying pixel

distribution, density of colors and tonal distribution. A Histogram shifting is the technique which

is used to modify or to extract a certain group of pixels from an image. In histogram the highest

value is called maxima and the lowest value is called minima. There are many algorithms which

support histogram functionality in order to change the image. The number of the pixels

constituting the peak in the histogram of a cover image is equal to the hiding capacity of the

system as a single peak in a cover image is used. Several histogram shifting techniques have

been developed by dividing the cover image into blocks to generate a respective peak for each

block which provides more hiding capacity into the multiple blocks. Types of transform domain

methods:

This method converts time and space frequency components into frequency domain .This method

separates components into sine and cosine values. It includes only particular set of frequencies

or samples that may be sufficient to describe the original image instead of including all the

frequencies. The hidden message bits are inserted in real part of frequency domain excluding

first pixel. After embedding IDFT is performed frequency domain converted into spatial domain.

The Discrete Fourier Transform of spatial value f(x,y) for an image of size M N is defined in

equation for frequency domain transformation.

It is like the Fourier Transform Technique as it converts an image from its spatial domain into

frequency domain. In this technique, for every color constituent, the JPEG format of image makes use

of cosine transform to convert consecutive pixel blocks of size 8 x 8 into a count of 64 cosine

coefficients each. It separates the image into spectral sub-bands with respect to visual quality of the

image, i.e. low, middle and high frequency component. Here FL and FH is used to denote the lowest

frequency components and higher frequency components respectively. FM is used as embedding

region to provide additional resistance to lossy compression techniques, while avoiding significant

modification of the cover image.

Wavelet is simply a small wave which has its energy concentrated in time to provide a tool for the

analysis of transient, non-stationary or time varying phenomena. A signal can be better understood if

it is expressed as a linear decomposition of sums of products of coefficient and functions. In wavelet

transform, the original signal (1-D, 2-D,3-D) is transformed using predefined wavelets and the use of

such transforms will mainly evolve the capacity and robustness of the information hiding system

features. 1-D DWT segments a cover image further into two major components known as approximate

component and detailed component. A 2-D DWT is used to segment a cover image into mainly four

sub components: one approximate component (LL) and the other three includes the detailed

components represented as (LH, HL, HH).

Integer wavelet transform maps an integer data set into another integer data set which is perfectly

invertible and results in exactly the original data set. In DWT, the used wavelet filters have

floating point coefficients so that when we hide data in their coefficients any truncations of the

floating point values of the pixels that should be integers may cause the loss of the hidden

information, which may lead to the failure of the data hiding system. To avoid problems of

floating point precision of the wavelet filters when the input data is integer as in digital images,

the output data will no longer be integer which do not allow perfect reconstruction of the input

image, and in this case there will no loss of information through forward and wavelet transform.

Due to the mentioned difference between IWT and DWT the LL sub-band in the case of IWT

appears to be a close copy with smaller scale of the original image while in the case of DWT the

resulting LL sub- band is distorted.

Proposed Method

In linear algebra, an eigenvector or characteristic vector of a linear transformation is a nonzero vector that does not change its direction when that linear transformation is applied to it. More

formally, if T is a linear transformation from a vector space V over a field F into itself and v is a vector

in V that is not the zero vector, then v is an eigenvector of T if T(v) is a scalar multiple of v. This

condition can be written as the equation T(v) = v where is a scalar in the field F, known as the eigenvalue, characteristic value,

or characteristic root associated with the eigenvector v.

A be an arbitrary n by n matrix of complex numbers with eigenvalues 1, 2, ..., n. Each eigenvalue

appears A(i) times in this list, where A(i) is the eigenvalue's algebraic multiplicity. The following

are properties of this matrix and its eigenvalues:

Secret image

Cover Image

The trace of A, defined as the sum of its diagonal elements, is also the sum of all eigenvalues,

tr(A)=i=1NAii= i=1Ni=1+2+.+n

The determinant of A is the product of all its eigenvalues, det(A)=i=1Ni=12n

The eigenvalues of the kth power of A, i.e. the eigenvalues of Ak, for any positive integer k,

are 1k, 2k, ..., nk.

The matrix A is invertible if and only if every eigenvalue is nonzero.

If A is invertible, then the eigenvalues of A1 are 1/1, 1/2, ..., 1/n and each eigenvalue's

geometric multiplicity coincides. Moreover, since the characteristic polynomial of the inverse is the

reciprocal polynomial of the original, the eigenvalues share the same algebraic multiplicity.

If A is equal to its conjugate transpose A*, or equivalently if A is Hermitian, then every

eigenvalue is real. The same is true of any symmetric real matrix.

If A is not only Hermitian but also positive-definite, positive-semidefinite, negative-definite,

or negative-semidefinite, then every eigenvalue is positive, non-negative, negative, or non-positive,

respectively.

If A is unitary, every eigenvalue has absolute value |i| = 1.

PROPERTIES OF EIGEN VALUES AND EIGEN VECTOR Let

A be an arbitrary n by n matrix of complex numbers with eigenvalues 1, 2, ..., n. Each eigenvalue

appears A(i) times in this list, where A(i) is the eigenvalue's algebraic multiplicity. The following

are properties of this matrix and its eigenvalues:

Secret image

Cover Image

The trace of A, defined as the sum of its diagonal elements, is also the sum of all eigenvalues,

tr(A)=i=1NAii= i=1Ni=1+2+.+n

The determinant of A is the product of all its eigenvalues, det(A)=i=1Ni=12n

The eigenvalues of the kth power of A, i.e. the eigenvalues of Ak, for any positive integer k,

are 1k, 2k, ..., nk.

The matrix A is invertible if and only if every eigenvalue is nonzero.

If A is invertible, then the eigenvalues of A1 are 1/1, 1/2, ..., 1/n and each eigenvalue's

geometric multiplicity coincides. Moreover, since the characteristic polynomial of the inverse is the

reciprocal polynomial of the original, the eigenvalues share the same algebraic multiplicity.

If A is equal to its conjugate transpose A*, or equivalently if A is Hermitian, then every

eigenvalue is real. The same is true of any symmetric real matrix.

or negative-semidefinite, then every eigenvalue is positive, non-negative, negative, or non-positive,

respectively.

If A is unitary, every eigenvalue has absolute value |i| = 1.

table

The proposed method is executed on four 512*512 images shows examples of the data hiding and

the data extracting process. Then three Images Bridge, boat and pentagon embedded in three

cover image Lena, Pepper and Baboon. In table, the proposed method is compared with

reference. The PSNR is in db and the capacity is compared by taking the size of image

transmitted into consideration. It can be seen that the proposed method has higher capacity than

the reference method as the proposed method is executed on 512x512 images whereas reference

method is executed on 256x256 images only , and the PSNR of the proposed method is high than

the PSNR of the reference method

CONCLUSION

In this paper, a method based on the fundamental concepts of matrix eigen values and eigenvectors

is presented. This method introduced a symmetric transformation matrix by the properties of the

matrix. The key is provided by using its eigen values and eigen vectors and is sent to the receiver

separately. In destination, secret data is extracted by having the cover image and the secret key.

It should be mentioned that if one of them is not received, the secret data cannot be extracted.

The proposed method has high PSNR and data capacity when compared to the reference method.

FUTURE SCOPE

The proposed method of secret image sharing has some limitations in terms of information carrying

capacity and the security provided. These limitations are due to the Eigen values and Eigen

vectors technique used for encoding and decoding processes. Hence in order to overcome the

limitations of the proposed method SVD(Single Value Decomposition) technique can be used

for encoding and decoding processes which has high PSNR and information carrying capacity

than the Eigen values and Eigen vectors technique. Along with the SVD technique we can use

Quick Response(QR) code for hiding the secret as a result of which the security can be increased

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