CSIS: compressed sensing-based enhanced-embedding capacity image steganography scheme

by   Rohit Agrawal, et al.

Image steganography plays a vital role in securing secret data by embedding it in the cover images. Usually, these images are communicated in a compressed format. Existing techniques achieve this but have low embedding capacity. Enhancing this capacity causes a deterioration in the visual quality of the stego-image. Hence, our goal here is to enhance the embedding capacity while preserving the visual quality of the stego-image. We also intend to ensure that our scheme is resistant to steganalysis attacks. This paper proposes a Compressed Sensing Image Steganography (CSIS) scheme to achieve our goal while embedding binary data in images. The novelty of our scheme is the combination of three components in attaining the above-listed goals. First, we use compressed sensing to sparsify cover image block-wise, obtain its linear measurements, and then uniquely select permissible measurements. Further, before embedding the secret data, we encrypt it using the Data Encryption Standard (DES) algorithm, and finally, we embed two bits of encrypted data into each permissible measurement. Second, we propose a novel data extraction technique, which is lossless and completely recovers our secret data. Third, for the reconstruction of the stego-image, we use the least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) for the resultant optimization problem. We perform experiments on several standard grayscale images and a color image, and evaluate embedding capacity, PSNR value, mean SSIM index, NCC coefficients, and entropy. We achieve 1.53 times more embedding capacity as compared to the most recent scheme. We obtain an average of 37.92 dB PSNR value, and average values close to 1 for both the mean SSIM index and the NCC coefficients, which are considered good. Moreover, the entropy of cover images and their corresponding stego-images are nearly the same.


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