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This paper presents a novel and flexible benchmarking tool based on genetic algorithms (GA) and designed to assess the robustness of any digital image watermarking system. The main idea is to evaluate robustness in terms of perceptual quality, measured by weighted peak signal-to-noise ratio. Through a stochastic approach, we optimize this quality metric, by finding the minimal degradation that needs to be introduced in a marked image in order to remove the embedded watermark. Given a set of attacks, chosen according to the considered application scenario, GA support the optimization of the parameters to be assigned to each processing operation, in order to obtain an unmarked image with perceptual quality as high as possible. Extensive experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed evaluation tool.