Covert communication through JPEG-compressed images

Qing Gong, Hong Shen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


We describe a new covert communication algorithm based on the principles of trellis coding and wavelet-based pixel-wise masking. This algorithm is capable of hiding 4059 bits of information reliably and secretly in JPEG-compressed images with dimensions 1024 x 1024. These data are combined with the imagery pixels so that they are robust against JPEG-recompression and format conversion. Experiments verify the great advantage of our algorithm in terms of image quality and bit error rate of the extracted message. Our algorithm encodes the source message consisting of binary bits with a BCH code and a trellis code into a sequence of ±1 digits that are embedded into the wavelet domain of the host image as a watermark using the pixel-wise masking approach. The robustness of the hidden message against JPEG compression is guaranteed by the great error correction capabilities of the used BCH and trellis coders, and the incorporation of pixel-wise perceptual shaping improves the image fidelity substantially.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2005 International Conference on Computer Vision, VISION'05
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes
Event2005 International Conference on Computer Vision, VISION'05 - Las Vegas, NV, United States
Duration: 20 Jun 200523 Jun 2005

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 2005 International Conference on Computer Vision, VISION'05


Conference2005 International Conference on Computer Vision, VISION'05
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLas Vegas, NV


  • BCH code, trellis, Viterbi decoder
  • Covert communication
  • Wavelet transform


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