A novel technique for image steganography based on maximum energy seam

Ron Shmueli, Divya Mishra, Tal Shmueli, Ofer Hadar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Image steganography is the art of hiding information in a cover image in such a way that a third party does not notice the hidden information. This paper presents a novel technique for image steganography in the spatial domain. The new method hides and recovers hidden information of substantial length within digital imagery while maintaining the size and quality of the original image. The image gradient is used to generate a saliency image, which represents the energy of each pixel in the image. Pixels with higher energy are more salient and they are valuable for hiding data since their visual impairment is low. From the saliency image, a cumulative maximum energy matrix is created; this matrix is used to generate horizontal seams that pass over the maximum energy path. By embedding the secret bits of information along the seams, a stego-image is created which contains the hidden message. In the stego-image, we ensure that the hidden data is invisible, with very small perceived image quality degradation. The same algorithms are used to reconstruct the hidden message from the stego-image. Experiments have been conducted using two types of images and two types of hidden data to evaluate the proposed technique. The experimental results show that the proposed algorithm has a high capacity and good invisibility, with a Peak Signal-to-Noise Ratio (PSNR) of about 70, and a Structural SIMilarity index (SSIM) of about 1.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMultimedia Tools and Applications
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2024

Keywords

  • Cover image
  • Covert channel
  • Image steganography
  • Information hiding
  • Seam carving
  • Watermarking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Media Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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