Speaker: Mr. Abbas Cheddad
Affiliation: University of Ulster, Magee
STEGANOFLAGE: A Novel Approach to Image Steganography
“If the feature is visible, the point of attack is evident”
by Mr Abbas Cheddad
PhD researcher at ISRC, University of Ulster, Magee
Steganography, which is the science of concealing the very existence of data in another transmission medium, comes along not to replace Cryptography but rather to boost the security using its obscurity features. Steganography has various useful applications such as for Human rights organizations (as encryption is prohibited in some countries), Smart IDs where individuals’ details are embedded in their photographs (content authentication), data integrity by embedding checksum, medical imaging and secure transmission of medical data and bank transactions to name a few. Conventional encryption methods suffer in the sense that any eavesdropper is able to notice the encrypted transmitted data. This carries threat of attacks such as a brute force attack. Different algorithms, to date, have emerged dealing with Steganography. Some target the image spatial domain which gives a high payload capacity, while others prefer the frequency domain for robustness at the expense of a limited embedding space. We believe that most of these algorithms are not resilient to image geometric distortions, such as rotation, translation and cropping. Another noticeable fact is that few of them address in-depth the issue of data encryption prior to embedding. Those which do, rely heavily on the conventional encryption algorithms. This dependency is due, in part, to gaps in research literature pertaining to image encryption. Therefore, the renowned block cipher algorithms, such as Data Encryption Standard (DES), Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), International Data Encryption Algorithm (IDEA), etc, are not suitable to handle bulky data, i.e., digital images, due to their intensive computational process and probability of generating repetitive patterns. We have developed a robust Steganography method with multiple layers of security to protect confidentiality. This seminar will outline some of the aspects of our novel approach.
Mr. Cheddad, received his Masters degree in Computer Science from University of Technology of Malaysia where he obtained a fellowship award. Upon graduation he joined as a Research Assistant, the Medical Imaging Research Group at the Department of Geomatic Engineering at the same University. Mr. Cheddad is currently pursuing a PhD program at the Faculty of Computing and Engineering at the University of Ulster in the United Kingdom. His PhD work focuses on strengthening Steganography in digital images.