Macquarie University
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Robust digital watermarking of multimedia objects

posted on 2022-03-28, 20:00 authored by Gaurav Gupta
Digital watermarking has generated significant research and commercial interest in the past decade. The primary factors contributing to this surge are widespread use of the Internet with improved bandwidth and speed, regional copyright loopholes in terms of legislation; and seamless distribution of multimedia content due to peer-to-peer file-sharing applications. -- Digital watermarking addresses the issue of establishing ownership over mul-timedia content through embedding a watermark inside the object. Ideally, this watermark should be detectable and/or extractable, survive attacks such as digital reproduction and content-specific manipulations such as re-sizing in the case of images, and be invisible to the end-user so that the quality of the content is not degraded significantly. During detection or extraction, the only requirements should be the secret key and the watermarked multimedia object, and not the original un-marked object or the watermark inserted. Watermarking scheme that facilitate this requirement are categorized as blind. In recent times, reversibility of watermark has also become an important criterion. This is due to the fact that reversible watermarking schemes can provided security against secondary watermarking attacks by using backtracking algorithms to identify the rightful owner. A watermarking scheme is said to be reversible if the original unmarked object can be regenerated from the watermarked copy and the secret key. This research covers three multimedia content types: natural language documents, software, and databases; and discusses the current watermarking scenario, challenges, and our contribution to the field. We have designed and implemented a natural language watermarking scheme that uses the redundancies in natural languages. As a result, it is robust against general attacks against text watermarks. It offers additional strength to the scheme by localizing the attack to the modified section and using error correction codes to detect the watermark. Our first contribution in software watermarking is identification and exploitation of weaknesses in branch-based software watermarking scheme proposed in [71] and the software watermarking algorithm we present is an improvised version of the existing watermarking schemes from [71]. Our scheme survives automated debugging attacks against which the current schemes are vulnerable, and is also secure against other software-specific attacks. We have proposed two database watermarking schemes that are both reversible and therefore resilient against secondary watermarking attacks. The first of these database watermarking schemes is semi-blind and requires the bits modified during the insertion algorithm to detect the watermark. The second scheme is an upgraded version that is blind and therefore does not require anything except a secret key and the watermarked relation. The watermark has a 89% probability of survival even when almost half of the data is manipulated. The watermarked data in this case is extremely useful from the users' perspective, since query results are preserved (i.e., the watermarked data gives the same results for a query as the nmarked data). -- The watermarking models we have proposed provide greater security against sophisticated attacks in different domains while providing sufficient watermark-carrying capacity at the same time. The false-positives are extremely low in all the models, thereby making accidental detection of watermark in a random object almost negligible. Reversibility has been facilitated in the later watermarking algorithms and is a solution to the secondary watermarking attacks. We shall address reversibility as a key issue in our future research, along with robustness, low false-positives and high capacity.


Table of Contents

Introduction -- Background -- Overview of watermarking -- Natural language watermarking -- Software watermarking -- Semi-blind and reversible database watermarking -- Blind and reversible database watermarking -- Conclusion and future research -- Bibliography.


Bibliography: p. 144-153

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD


Thesis (PhD), Macquarie University, Division of Information and Communication Sciences, Department of Computing

Department, Centre or School

Department of Computing

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Josef Pieprzyk


Copyright disclaimer: Copyright Gaurav Gupta 2008.




xxiv, 156 p. ill. (some col.)

Former Identifiers

mq:4064 1289972