Image Steganography Method Based on Brightness Adjustment
Steganography is an information hiding technique in which secret data are secured by covering them into a computer carrier file without damaging the file or changing its size. The difference between steganography and cryptography is that steganography is a stealthy method of communication that only the communicating parties are aware of; while, cryptography is an overt method of communication that anyone is aware of, despite its payload is scribbled. Typically, an irrecoverable steganography algorithm is the algorithm that makes it hard for malicious third parties to discover how it works and how to recover the secret data out of the carrier file. One popular way to achieve irrecoverability is to digitally process the carrier file after hiding the secret data into it. However, such process is irreversible as it would destroy the concealed data. This paper proposes a new image steganography method for textual data, as well as for any form of digital data, based on adjusting the brightness of the carrier image after covering the secret data into it. The algorithm used is parameterized as it can be configured using three different parameters defined by the communicating parties. They include the amount of brightness to apply on the carrier image after the completion of the covering process, the color channels whose brightness should be adjusted, and the bytes that should carry in the secret data. The novelty of the proposed method is that it embeds bits of the secret data into the three LSBs of the bytes that compose the carrier image in such a way that does not destroy the secret data when restoring back the original brightness of the carrier image. The simulation conducted proved that the proposed algorithm is valid and correct. As future work, other image processing techniques are to be examined such as adjusting the contrast or the gamma level of the carrier image, enabling the communicating parties to more flexibly configure their secret communication.
Computer Security; Information Hiding; Image Steganography; Brightness Adjustment
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