A new and efficient steganographic method for embedding secret messages into a gray-valued cover image is proposed. In the process of embedding a secret message, a cover image is partitioned into non-overlapping blocks of two consecutive pixels. A difference value is calculated from the values of the two pixels in each block. All possible difference values are classified into a number of ranges. The selection of the range intervals is based on the characteristics of human vision's sensitivity to gray value variations from smoothness to contrast. The difference value then is replaced by a new value to embed the value of a sub-stream of the secret message. The number of bits which can be embedded in a pixel pair is decided by the width of the range that the difference value belongs to. The method is designed in such a way that the modification is never out of the range interval. This method provides an easy way to produce a more imperceptible result than those yielded by simple least-significant-bit replacement methods. The embedded secret message can be extracted from the resulting stego-image without referencing the original cover image. Moreover, a pseudo-random mechanism may be used to achieve secrecy protection. Experimental results show the feasibility of the proposed method. Dual statistics attacks were also conducted to collect related data to show the security of the method.
- Cover image
- Data hiding