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A new approach to hiding secret binary images behind noise images for covert communication with a capability of secret authentication is proposed. A secret image to be transmitted is transformed into a random noise image at a sender site with a given key, with the aim of both covering the secret and cheating illicit interceptors. Authentication bits are also embedded imperceptibly in the noise image. At the receiver site, the secret image is recovered from the noise image with the same key and verified by checking the existence of the authentication bits. Experimental results show the feasibility of the approach for real applications.