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Title: Secure digital documents using Steganography and QR Code
Authors: Hassanein, Mohamed Sameh
Advisors: Ghinea, G
Keywords: Information hiding;Steganography based solution;Fingerprinting;Verification of authenticity and integrity of digital documents;Subjective image quality evaluation method
Issue Date: 2014
Abstract: With the increasing use of the Internet several problems have arisen regarding the processing of electronic documents. These include content filtering, content retrieval/search. Moreover, document security has taken a centre stage including copyright protection, broadcast monitoring etc. There is an acute need of an effective tool which can find the identity, location and the time when the document was created so that it can be determined whether or not the contents of the document were tampered with after creation. Owing the sensitivity of the large amounts of data which is processed on a daily basis, verifying the authenticity and integrity of a document is more important now than it ever was. Unsurprisingly document authenticity verification has become the centre of attention in the world of research. Consequently, this research is concerned with creating a tool which deals with the above problem. This research proposes the use of a Quick Response Code as a message carrier for Text Key-print. The Text Key-print is a novel method which employs the basic element of the language (i.e. Characters of the alphabet) in order to achieve authenticity of electronic documents through the transformation of its physical structure into a logical structured relationship. The resultant dimensional matrix is then converted into a binary stream and encapsulated with a serial number or URL inside a Quick response Code (QR code) to form a digital fingerprint mark. For hiding a QR code, two image steganography techniques were developed based upon the spatial and the transform domains. In the spatial domain, three methods were proposed and implemented based on the least significant bit insertion technique and the use of pseudorandom number generator to scatter the message into a set of arbitrary pixels. These methods utilise the three colour channels in the images based on the RGB model based in order to embed one, two or three bits per the eight bit channel which results in three different hiding capacities. The second technique is an adaptive approach in transforming domain where a threshold value is calculated under a predefined location for embedding in order to identify the embedding strength of the embedding technique. The quality of the generated stego images was evaluated using both objective (PSNR) and Subjective (DSCQS) methods to ensure the reliability of our proposed methods. The experimental results revealed that PSNR is not a strong indicator of the perceived stego image quality, but not a bad interpreter also of the actual quality of stego images. Since the visual difference between the cover and the stego image must be absolutely imperceptible to the human visual system, it was logically convenient to ask human observers with different qualifications and experience in the field of image processing to evaluate the perceived quality of the cover and the stego image. Thus, the subjective responses were analysed using statistical measurements to describe the distribution of the scores given by the assessors. Thus, the proposed scheme presents an alternative approach to protect digital documents rather than the traditional techniques of digital signature and watermarking.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and awarded by Brunel University London
Appears in Collections:Computer Science
Dept of Computer Science Theses

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