Skip to Main Content
Image authentication verifies the originality of an image by detecting malicious manipulations. This goal is different from that of image watermarking which embeds into the image a signature surviving most manipulations. Most existing methods for image authentication treat all types of manipulation equally (i.e., as unacceptable). However, some applications demand techniques that can distinguish acceptable manipulations (e.g., compression) from malicious ones. In this paper, we describe an effective technique for image authentication, which can prevent malicious manipulations but allow JPEG lossy compression. The authentication signature is based on the invariance of the relationship between the DCT coefficients at the same position in separate blocks of an image. This relationship will be preserved when these coefficients are quantized in a JPEG compression process. Our proposed method can distinguish malicious manipulations from JPEG lossy compression regardless of how high the compression ratio is. We also show that, in different practical cases, the design of the authenticator depends on the number of recompression times, and whether the image is decoded into integral values in the pixel domain during the recompression process. Theoretical and experimental results indicate that this technique is effective for image authentication.