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Image Authentication Techniques

Published on Dec 17, 2015


This paper explores the various techniques used to authenticate the visual data recorded by the automatic video surveillance system. Automatic video surveillance systems are used for continuous and effective monitoring and reliable control of remote and dangerous sites. Some practical issues must be taken in to account, in order to take full advantage of the potentiality of VS system.

The validity of visual data acquired, processed and possibly stored by the VS system, as a proof in front of a court of law is one of such issues. But visual data can be modified using sophisticated processing tools without leaving any visible trace of the modification.

So digital or image data have no value as legal proof, since doubt would always exist that they had been intentionally tampered with to incriminate or exculpate the defendant. Besides, the video data can be created artificially by computerized techniques such as morphing. Therefore the true origin of the data must be indicated to use them as legal proof. By data authentication we mean here a procedure capable of ensuring that data have not been tampered with and of indicating their true origin.

Automatic Visual Surveillance System

Automatic Visual Surveillance system is a self monitoring system which consists of a video camera unit, central unit and transmission networks A pool of digital cameras is in charge of frame the scene of interest and sent corresponding video sequence to central unit. The central unit is in charge of analyzing the sequence and generating an alarm whenever a suspicious situation is detected.

Central unit also transmits the video sequences to an intervention centre such as security service provider, the police department or a security guard unit. Somewhere in the system the video sequence or some part of it may be stored and when needed the stored sequence can be used as a proof in front of court of law. If the stored digital video sequences have to be legally credible, some means must be envisaged to detect content tampering and reliably trace back to the data origin

Authentication Techniques

Authentication techniques are performed on visual data to indicate that the data is not a forgery; they should not damage visual quality of the video data. At the same time, these techniques must indicate the malicious modifications include removal or insertion of certain frames, change of faces of individual, time and background etc. Only a properly authenticated video data has got the value as legal proof. There are two major techniques for authenticating video data.

They are as follows

1. Cryptographic Data Authentication

It is a straight forward way to provide video authentication, namely through the joint use of asymmetric key encryption and the digital Hash function.

Cameras calculate a digital summary (digest) of the video by means of hash function. Then they encrypt the digest with their private key, thus obtaining a signed digest which is transmitted to the central unit together with acquired sequences. This digest is used to prove data integrity or to trace back to their origin. Signed digest can only read by using public key of the camera.

2. Watermarking- based authentication

Watermarking data authentication is the modern approach to authenticate visual data by imperceptibly embedding a digital watermark signal on the data.

Digital watermarking is the art and science of embedding copyright information in the original files. The information embedded is called 'watermarks '. Digital watermarks are difficult to remove without noticeably degrading the content and are a covert means in situation where copyright fails to provide robustness.

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