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Spatial domain digital watermarking of multimedia objects for buyer authentication

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3 Author(s)
D. P. Mukherjee ; Electron. & Commun. Sci. Unit, Indian Stat. Inst., Calcutta, India ; S. Maitra ; S. T. Acton

Most of the existing watermarking processes become vulnerable when the attacker knows the watermark insertion algorithm. This paper presents an invisible spatial domain watermark insertion algorithm for which we show that the watermark can be recovered, even if the attacker tries to manipulate the watermark with the knowledge of the watermarking process. The process incorporates buyer specific watermarks within a single multimedia object, and the same multimedia object has different watermarks that differ from owner to owner. Therefore recovery of this watermark not only authenticates the particular owner of the multimedia object but also could be used to identify the buyer involved in the forging process. This is achieved after spatially dividing the multimedia signal randomly into a set of disjoint subsets (referred to as the image key) and then manipulating the intensity of these subsets differently depending on a buyer specific key. These buyer specific keys are generated using a secret permutation of error correcting codes so that exact keys are not known even with the knowledge of the error correcting scheme. During recovery process a manipulated buyer key (due to attack) is extracted from the knowledge of the image key. The recovered buyer key is matched with the exact buyer key in the database utilizing the principles of error correction. The survival of the watermark is demonstrated for a wide range of transformations and forging attempts on multimedia objects both in spatial and frequency domains. We have shown that quantitatively our watermarking survives rewatermarking attack using the knowledge of the watermarking process more efficiently compared to a spread spectrum based technique. The efficacy of the process increases in scenarios in which there exist fewer numbers of buyer keys for a specific multimedia object. We have also shown that a minor variation of the watermark insertion process can survive a "Stirmark" attack. By making the image key and the intensity manipulation proms specific for a buyer and with proper selection of error correcting codes, certain categories of collusion attacks can also be precluded.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Multimedia  (Volume:6 ,  Issue: 1 )