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International conference on I-SMAC (IoT in Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud)

(I-SMAC 2017)

A Recent Survey On Data Hiding Techniques

Sandeep Singh, Dr. Amit Kumar Singh, Prof. S P Ghrera

Department of Computer Science & Engineering
Jaypee University of Information and Technology
Wakanaghat Solan, H.P. (INDIA)

Abstract—Data hiding is a process of hiding information. application dependent and some most desirable properties for
Various methods have been developed for data hiding as of now these applications are conflicting in nature [1].
but each have some limitations and some advantages too.
According to the level and kind of application one or more data
hiding methods is used. Data hiding can be done in audio, video,
text, and image and in other form of information. Some data
hiding techniques emphasizes on digital image security, some on II. RELATED WORK
robustness of digital image hiding process while other’s main
focus is on imperceptibility of digital image. Capacity of digital Various kind of existing schemes that are used for data
information which has to hide is also the main concern in some of
hiding are discussed here.
the applications. The objective of some of the papers mentioned
below is to achieve two or more than two parameters i.e. R. Gayathri et al. in [3], “Secure data hiding using
Security, robustness, imperceptibility and capacity but some of Steganographic technique with Visual Cryptography and
the parameters are trade-off which mean only one can be Watermarking Scheme” proposed a method to provide high
achieved on the cost of other. So the data hiding techniques level of security using combined features of stegnography,
aiming to achieve maximum requirements i.e. security, cryptography and watermarking. In this scheme a binary
robustness, capacity, imperceptibility etc. and which can be image is divided into 8x8 blocks and zigzag hiding sequence
utilized in larger domain of applications is desired. Related work is applied on each block so the data hided path cannot be
for techniques used for data hiding in digital image is described
easily predicted then the data encrypted image is created using
in this paper.
a (2,2)VC share technique. Anyone who holds only one share
Keywords—watermarking; cryptography; steganography cannot reveal the information about secret. Generated shares
then embedded into separated cover images by Least
Significant Bit (LSB) insertion technique of digital
I. INTRODUCTION watermarking. The advantage of proposed scheme is that it
With the hype of digitization of each and every thing, provide good visual quality and additional security using
Digital Information is ubiquitous nowadays. For the stegnography but it takes more time in processing because
integration, confidentiality and security of Digital Information, steganographic algorithm is complex
traditional data hiding schemes have to be upgraded and need
B. Nassiri et al. in [4], “Secure transmission of medical
to be used in conjunction with other schemes. For this various
images by watermarking technique” proposed a scheme for
schemes has been proposed to protect and secure the Digital
medical images. In this scheme firstly original image is
Information which are stegnography, watermarking and
transformed from space domain to frequency domain using
cryptography and their combinations. All of these schemes
DWT to the original scale L(L=4) and then for better ensuring
have different issues to handle and different aims to achieved
the invisibility of watermark psycho visual mask is added
which is particularly depends upon the type of application
which is used to adjust the insertion force of watermark which
domain in which Digital Information is being used and
is given by a parameter robustness alpha which is specified in
manipulated. Security, robustness and fragility are the main
the scheme. A watermark W is generated using pseudo-
concern which are associated with these data hiding
random binary sequence method then watermark W is
techniques and some parameters are being used for the
encrypted using pseudo-random binary vector P to produce
acceptability of scheme being used subject to the above
W* which is then embedded in the host image. Then inverse
concerns which may have different values for different
DWT is applied to obtain the marked image. This scheme is
applications. Watermarking and Cryptography are nearly
almost fragile against certain type of filters and retains the
related techniques but watermarking is discrete from
quality of image high but the robustness depended upon the
encryption [1]. Watermarking techniques stand on embedding
force of watermark inserted or the value of alpha.
a host image with information which is called watermark then
the watermarked image will be transmitted and can be Madhuri Rajawat et al. in [5], “A Secure Watermarking
extracted at the receiver [2]. Watermarking requirements are and Tampering detection technique on RGB Image using 2

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International conference on I-SMAC (IoT in Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud)
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Level DWT” proposed a system which not only conceals large along with encryption for enhancing the security of the binary
size of information within an image, but also limits the images. In this method a Watermark1 is encrypted with key
perceivable alteration that may happen in an image while E1 using XOR operation and this Watermark1 is embedded
processing it. In the proposed scheme original image OI and in main Watermak2 using key W1. Now Watermark2 is
watermark image WM are resized to N*N and their RGB encrypted with same method as of previous watermark using
components are separated, then 2-level DWT is applied on encryption key E2. Now Watermark2 is embedded in host
both the images to divide the images into low frequency and image using key W2. This is blind watermarking technique
high frequency components and then for embedding separated and advantage of this method is high security due to encrypted
components of original image OI and watermark image WM
watermark and more numbers of bits can be embedded but the
are multiplied using scaling factor and new one image is
nesting make the process complex and computation time may
obtained. After that inverse 2DWT is applied on the 2DWT
transformed image to produce the watermarked original increased.
image. For tampering detection original image and
watermarked image are used as reference images. Besides Jasdeep Singh Bhalla et al. in [9], “Nested Digital Image
concealing large size of information and limits perceivable Watermarking Technique Using Blowfish Encryption
alteration it yields good PSNR value but at high level of DWT Algorithm” proposed a method of nested watermarking along
the illustration significant information is lost. Cropping and with encryption using Blowfish Algorithm. Blowfish
rotation attacks are not considered in this proposed work. Algorithm is symmetric encryption algorithm and it is a block
Md. Moniruzzaman et al. in [6], “Wavelet Based cipher that it divides the message into fixed length blocks
Watermarking Approach of Hiding Patient Information in during encryption and decryption and having variable-length
Medical Image for Medical Image Authentication” suggested key ranging from 32 bits to 448 bits. In this method first
a scheme in which medical image is used as a host image and watermark is encrypted with Blowfish algorithm and
patient information is embedded in it as a binary watermark embedded in second watermark which is main watermark.
image without affecting the image quality. Firstly DWT is Now second watermark is again encrypted with same
applied on host image to obtain four non-overlapping multi- algorithm and embedded in host image using spatial domain
resolution coefficient sets – LL, HL, LH and HH and then low technique (LSB). The advantage of this method is that it
frequency sub-band (LL) is divided into 3x3 non-overlapping increases the embedding capacity of watermark and using
blocks. The gray differences between centre and neighbour Blowfish encryption algorithm increase the security and
pixels are calculated taking centre pixel value as threshold and robustness of the watermark.
assigning them binary bits (1 and 0) accordingly. Logistic map Sukhpal Kaur et al. in [10], “An Invisible Watermarking
is generated by applying XOR operation on obtained binary Scheme Based on Modified Fast Haar Wavelet Transform and
bits and then chaotic watermark is obtained by applying XOR RSGWPT” proposed blind watermarking algorithm which is
operation on binary watermark image and generated logistic robust and based on both Modified Fast Haar Wavelet
map. Chaotic watermark bits then embedded into the LL sub- Transform (MFHWT) and Redundant Second Generation
band of host image by observing the neighbour pixels Wavelet Packet Transform (RSGWPT). In this proposed
conditions. Finally inverse DWT is performed to obtained method MFHWT decomposes the original cover image until
original watermarked image. The proposed method as shown the size of sub-images is 4 times the watermark image then
by PSNR value and NC value, keeps a good quality of RSGWPT is applied to the last decomposition of MFHWT and
watermarked image and extracted watermark. for increasing the security pixels of watermark are distributed
Saeid Bakhtiari et al. in [7], “JPEG Image Encryption with on all sub-images. Gray scale value of each pixel is calculated
Elliptic Curve Cryptography” suggested an encryption and divided into three parts A, B and C. The sub-images are
technique using ECC (Elliptic Curve Cryptography) during further decomposed into 4 bands equal to the size of
and before JPEG compression. ECC is suitable in the watermark and A, B and C are embedded into the rest of the
environments where power consumption, storage and bands leaving first one. Now watermark is embedded into the
bandwidth are constrained. In the proposed method ECC is fine Scaled Frequency bands of the RSGWPT to guarantee its
applied jointly with and independently of the compression invisibility where minimum match occurs after comparing the
algorithm. It is applied after transform encoding and coefficients of RSGWPT with parts of A,B and C. Finally
quantization of image to achieve selective encryption and inverse of MFHWT and RSGWPT is performed to obtain the
decryption and before compression in order to achieve original watermarked image. Proposed scheme is robust
perceptual encryption. In the proposed method two ECC based against Salt and Pepper, Poisson and Speckle noise,
algorithm are presented: selective encryption of the quantised embedding and extraction of watermark is faster and it yields
DCT coefficients and perceptual encryption based on selective good values for PSNR and NC but the method is bit complex.
bit-plane encryption. Advantage of this scheme is that it is fast Ali Al-Haj et al. in [11], “Combining Cryptography and
and secure and it does not affect the compressed data but Digital Watermarking for Secured Transmission of Medical
applied codec is required to modify if ECC is applied during Images” proposed a scheme in which medical image is
compression. decomposed into two regions ROI (region of interest) and
Preeti Gupta in [8], “Cryptography based digital image RONI (region of non interest). Three level DWT is applied on
RONI part and three watermarks, Authentication Watermark,
watermarking algorithm to increase security of watermark
Integrity Watermark and Tamper Localization Watermark,
data” proposed a method which used nested watermarking

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International conference on I-SMAC (IoT in Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud)
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later two are generated from ROI part as a hash value and two shares S1 and S2 are generated using (2, 2)VCS based on
CRC-16 value. In this method firstly DWT is applied on XOR algorithm. The blue component of colour image is
RONI part to decompose the image into 4 sub-bands LL1, separated and decomposed into non-overlapping 8x8 blocks
HL1, LH1 and HH1, again 2-DWT is applied on HL1 sub- and DCT is applied on each block. Now S1 is embedded into
band to further decomposes the HL1 band into 4 sub-bands these blocks and inverse DCT is applied to obtain the original
bands LL2, HL2, LH2 and HH2,, after this again, 3-DWT is colour watermarked image. S2 is protected by copyright which
applied on HL2 sub-band to decompose it further into 4 sub- is applicable to recovery the watermark. This scheme yield
bands LL3, HL3, LH3 and HH3. Now patient information is good NC value but PSNR value is not upto the level of other
embedded as a watermark in HL3 sub-band and inverse DWT schemes.
is applied then Integrity Watermark is embedded into the HL2
sub-band and again inverse DWT is applied, finally Tamper Sudip Ghosh et al. in [15], “A Novel Dual Purpose Spatial
Localization watermark is embedded into the HL1 sub-band Domain Algorithm for Digital Image Watermarking and
and inverse DWT is applied and ROI and RONI parts are Cryptography Using Extended Hamming Code” proposed dual
combined and original watermarked image is obtained. purpose spatial domain robust algorithm for cryptography and
Proposed method provides high imperceptibility and security. digital watermarking and key generation is done using
Extended Hamming code and making the code self-correcting.
Mohamed OUSLIM et al. in [12], “Securing biometric LSB of the cover image is extracted and processed with
data by combining watermarking and cryptography” proposed Extended Hamming Code and then messages pixels are
a biometric system based on Vector quantization embedded in case of watermarking and for encryption key
watermarking based on LBG algorithm (Linde, Buzo and pixels are converted into 8-bit binary value and then LSB of
Gray) or generalized Lloyd algorithm (GLA) used to hide iris second bit plane is extracted and XOR with message pixel
information of eye image in fingerprint image to ensure the value and then result of this and LSB of second bit plane is
security of both images. Two databases are used in this coded in 4-bit codes using Extended Hamming code. This
method of fingerprint images and iris images. In this method method has high degree of imperceptibility and robustness but
firstly XOR operation is done on 2 binary Iris images to get it uses spatial domain rather than frequency domain.
the permutated version of watermark and fingerprint image is
decomposes into 2x2 blocks to obtained quantified vectors and Sanjay Kumar et al. in [16] “A Novel Spatial Domain
then using LBG algorithm and current dictionary to get Technique for Digital Image Watermarking Using Block
quantized fingerprint image X’. Then binary polarity matrix Entropy” proposed a method for authentication and copyright
P is obtained by calculating the variance of indices of protection of digital image. In this method firstly the cover
quantization vectors taking some threshold value. Finally image CI is divided into 64 blocks and entropy of each block
XOR operation is performed of binary polarity matrix P with is calculated. The watermark image WI is resized to the block
permutated watermark to obtain the Key which is transmitted size of CI and embedded into those blocks having highest
entropy by using LSB insertion method. This method yield
to the receiver side along with quantized fingerprint image X’.
Security is enhanced in this technique and it is robust against good PSNR and MSE value which verifies the perceptibility
and robustness of watermark image but its performance is not
various attacks.
measured against attacks.
Anusree K et al. in [13], “Biometric Privacy using Visual
Cryptography, Halftoning and Watermarking for Multiple Meeta Malonia at el. in [17], “Digital Image Watermarking
using Discrete Wavelet Transform and Arithmetic
Secrets” proposed a scheme for multiple secret sharing for
Progression” proposed a method of watermarking using
colour images using VC, Halftoning along with Digital
watermarking. In this scheme two shares are generated. arithmetic progression which gives higher perceptibility and
robustness against various attacks. In this method firstly cover
Original image is decomposed into C, M and Y channels then
halftoning is applied on individual channel and then encoding RGB image is converted into grayscale image of size 512x512
then 2-DWT is applied on it to obtained four sub-bands LL1,
by number of sub-pixels is done using (2,2) VCS which is
HL1, LH1 and HH1 of size 256x256. Then QR-code image is
known as pixel expansion. (2, 2)VCS generates two shares,
each for C, M and Y channels for each image and then shares taken and converted into grayscale image and then into binary
image of 48x48 and it is taken as watermark image which is
are embedded on to two separate images called sheets. Share1
resized to 1x2304 and then into 3x768. Calculate the average
of all images will be watermarked on sheet1 and share2 of all
images on sheet2. Original image is only revealed if one has of each sub-bands i.e. HL1, LH1 and HH1. Smallest average
sub-band is to be embedded first then others having higher
all the shares. XOR operation is done for decryption of VCS
to combining the shares. Security is enhanced in this scheme average. 1x768 elements of the watermark is taken and
reshape into 256x3 elements. Now positions to insert
using multiple shares but PSNR value is not upto the level of
watermark is located in sub-bands using an equation and then
other methods and moreover there is a pixel expansion
problem which arise the problem of storage. watermark is embedded using arithmetic progression
technique. Finally inverse 2-DWT is performed to obtain the
Yanyan Han et al. in [14], “A Digital Watermarking final watermarked image. This scheme has comparatively
Algorithm of Colour Image based on Visual Cryptography and higher perceptibility and robustness against various attacks i.e.
Discrete Cosine Transform” proposed an algorithm to generate median filtering, JPEG compression, shearing, rotation,
two shares based on VCS. One share is embedded into the cropping and Gaussian low-pass filtering which is indicated
DCT coefficients of blue components of colour image and by the PSNR value which is always above 50 db.
other share is protected by copyright. In the proposed method

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and robustness of digital Vector Qunatization
images by merging the Watermarking based
upto 10
Ref two biometric signatures on LBG algorithm and
Objective Techniques Used PSNR(dB)
No. using cryptography and Chaotic Cryptography
Stegnography, Visual Extended Visual
To provide high level of To secure biometric data cryptography with
Cryptography and upto 21.23
security using combined stored in central databases halftoning and
Invisible upto
features of stegnography, watermarking
Watermarking using 55.9110
cryptography and To increase the
LSB insertion DCT, Visual
watermarking robustness and upto
technique Cryptography and
To develop watermarking embedding capacity of 42.008
algorithm for gray scale watermarks
image which emphasis on To develop a blind
DWT, encryption
fragility rather than watermarking algorithm
using pseudo random upto Extended Hamming
robustness for the in spatial domain which is
sequence and 38.2833 code and upto 81.78
authenticity of medical self-correcting for dual
watermarking Watermarking
images using domain purpose of watermarking
wavelet transform to gray and cryptography
level Block entropy and
To enhance security of For authentication and spatial domain LSB
image using two level copyright protection of insertion
DWT on RGB Separation of RGB the image watermarking
components of original component, 2 level technique
upto 61.62
image and watermark DWT and To develop a
image by combining watermarking watermarking technique
DWT, watermarking
watermarking and tamper which has higher image upto
using Arithmetic
detection method perceptibility and 79.8547
For authenticity of robustness against many
patient's information attacks
DWT and Chaotic
DWT and chaotic
Watermarking using upto 49.58
watermark techniques are
Logistic map
used which preserve the Every technique has its advantages and disadvantages in
image quality the context of some specific concerns. Some techniques have
Two ECC based large data hiding capacity but some have more secure than
encryption algorithm:
To provide security to
selective encryption of
others. Some techniques are more robust against various
JPEG image using
the quantized DCT attacks but some are more fragile. Some techniques are quite
Elliptic Curve complex but secure as well but some are very simple but
coefficients for during upto 17.70
cryptography before and
during image
compression and security is not up to the level of other techniques. High degree
perceptual encryption of imperceptibility is achieved in some techniques and some
based on selective bit- have quite good PSNR values. The method in each work is
plane encryption
To provide image security different level of application. One method cannot be opted for
by watermark nesting and other application in which it is not intended.
DWT, Nested
encryption along with Not
Watermarking and
increasing the capacity of Reported
embedding data in the
cover image III. CONCLUSION
To provide a method of
nested watermarking This paper mainly focuses on related works of various data
Watermarking and
embedding and
Encryption using
Not hiding techniques and comparison among them. Each
encryption for increasing mentioned technique has its pros and cons and different technique is
blowfish algorithm
embedding capacity and
applicable for different domain of applications. The objective
To provide high quality of some of the papers is to achieve two or more than two
watermarked image using parameters i.e. Security, robustness, imperceptibility and
Modified Fast Haar
capacity but some of the parameters are trade-off which mean
Wavelet Transform and only one can be achieved on the cost of other. So the data
decomposition and upto 55.18
Redundant Second hiding techniques aiming to achieve maximum requirements
Generation Wavelet
Packet Transform and i.e. security, robustness, capacity, imperceptibility etc. and
Blind watermarking which can be utilized in larger domain of applications is
To provide the secure desired. In future there is scope to design application specific
transmission of medical
3 level DWT and 3 upto technique using combination of above mentioned techniques
images using hybrid and further it can be accompanied by recent developed image
different Watermarks 98.1093
techniques of encryption
transformation and data hiding techniques so that to make a
and watermarking
better data hiding technique which is suitable for low

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bandwidth networks and low computational power machines [9] Jasdeep Singh Bhalla and Preeti Nagrath, “Nested Digital Image
having low battery capacity. Watermarking Technique Using Blowfish Encryption Algorithm,”
International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research Publications,
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Based on Modified Fast Haar Wavelet Transform and RSGWPT,”
Proceedings of IEEE 2015 RAECS UIET Panjab University Chandigarh
21-22nd December 2015.
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