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Digital image forensics via intrinsic fingerprints

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3 Author(s)
Swaminathan, A. ; Univ. of Maryland, College Park ; Min Wu ; Liu, K.J.R.

Digital imaging has experienced tremendous growth in recent decades, and digital camera images have been used in a growing number of applications. With such increasing popularity and the availability of low-cost image editing software, the integrity of digital image content can no longer be taken for granted. This paper introduces a new methodology for the forensic analysis of digital camera images. The proposed method is based on the observation that many processing operations, both inside and outside acquisition devices, leave distinct intrinsic traces on digital images, and these intrinsic fingerprints can be identified and employed to verify the integrity of digital data. The intrinsic fingerprints of the various in-camera processing operations can be estimated through a detailed imaging model and its component analysis. Further processing applied to the camera captured image is modelled as a manipulation filter, for which a blind deconvolution technique is applied to obtain a linear time-invariant approximation and to estimate the intrinsic fingerprints associated with these postcamera operations. The absence of camera-imposed fingerprints from a test image indicates that the test image is not a camera output and is possibly generated by other image production processes. Any change or inconsistencies among the estimated camera-imposed fingerprints, or the presence of new types of fingerprints suggest that the image has undergone some kind of processing after the initial capture, such as tampering or steganographic embedding. Through analysis and extensive experimental studies, this paper demonstrates the effectiveness of the proposed framework for nonintrusive digital image forensics.

Published in:

Information Forensics and Security, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:3 ,  Issue: 1 )