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A Robust and Secure Video Steganography Method in DWT-DCT Domains Based on Multiple Object Tracking and ECC

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Over the past few decades, the art of secretly embedding and communicating digital data has gained enormous attention because of the technological development in both digital contents and communication. The imperceptibility, hiding capacity, and robustness against attacks are three main requirements that any video steganography method should take into consideration. In this article, a robust and secure video steganographic algorithm in Discrete Wavelet Transform (DWT) and Discrete Cosine Transform (DCT) domains based on the Multiple Object Tracking (MOT) algorithm and Error Correcting Codes (ECC) is proposed. The secret message is preprocessed by applying both Hamming and Bose, Chaudhuri, and Hocquenghem (BCH) codes for encoding the secret data. First, motion-based MOT algorithm is implemented on host videos to distinguish the regions of interest in the moving objects. Then, the data hiding process is performed by concealing the secret message into the DWT and DCT coefficients of all motion regions in the video depending on foreground masks. Our experimental results illustrate that the suggested algorithm not only improves the embedding capacity and imperceptibility but also it enhances its security and robustness by encoding the secret message and withstanding against various attacks.
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Received March 5, 2017, accepted March 30, 2017, date of publication April 6, 2017, date of current version May 17, 2017.
Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/ACCESS.2017.2691581
A Robust and Secure Video Steganography
Method in DWT-DCT Domains Based on Multiple
Object Tracking and ECC
RAMADHAN J. MSTAFA1, (Member, IEEE), KHALED M. ELLEITHY1, (Senior Member, IEEE),
AND EMAN ABDELFATTAH2, (Member, IEEE)
1Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Bridgeport, Bridgeport, CT 06604, USA
2School of Computing, Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, CT 06825, USA
Corresponding author: Ramadhan J. Mstafa (rmstafa@my.bridgeport.edu)
ABSTRACT Over the past few decades, the art of secretly embedding and communicating digital data has
gained enormous attention because of the technological development in both digital contents and commu-
nication. The imperceptibility, hiding capacity, and robustness against attacks are three main requirements
that any video steganography method should take into consideration. In this paper, a robust and secure video
steganographic algorithm in discrete wavelet transform (DWT) and discrete cosine transform (DCT) domains
based on the multiple object tracking (MOT) algorithm and error correcting codes is proposed. The secret
message is preprocessed by applying both Hamming and Bose, Chaudhuri, and Hocquenghem codes for
encoding the secret data. First, motion-based MOT algorithm is implemented on host videos to distinguish
the regions of interest in the moving objects. Then, the data hiding process is performed by concealing
the secret message into the DWT and DCT coefficients of all motion regions in the video depending on
foreground masks. Our experimental results illustrate that the suggested algorithm not only improves the
embedding capacity and imperceptibility but also enhances its security and robustness by encoding the secret
message and withstanding against various attacks.
INDEX TERMS Video steganography, multimedia security, data hiding techniques, multiple object tracking,
DWT, DCT, ECC, imperceptibility, embedding capacity, robustness.
I. INTRODUCTION
In spite of the fact that the Internet is utilized as a medium
to access desired information, it has also opened a new door
for attackers to obtain precious information of other users
with little effort [1]. Steganography has functioned in a com-
plementary capacity to offer a protection mechanism that
hide communication between an authorized transmitter and
its recipient. Steganography is defined as the art of concealing
secret information in specific carrier data, establishing covert
communication channels between official parties [2], [3].
Subsequently, a stego object (steganogram) should appear the
same as an original data that has a slight change of the sta-
tistical features. The primary objective of the steganography
is to eliminate any suspicion to the transmission of hidden
messages and provide security and anonymity for legiti-
mate parties. The simplest way to observe the steganogram’s
visual quality is to determine its accuracy, which is achieved
through the Human Visual System (HVS). The HVS cannot
identify slight distortions in the steganogram, thus avoid-
ing suspiciousness [4]. However, if the size of the hidden
message in proportion with the size of the carrier object
is large, then the steganogram’s degradation will be visi-
ble to the human eye resulting in a failed steganographic
method [5].
Embedding efficiency, hiding capacity, and robustness are
the three major requirements incorporated in any successful
steganographic method [6]. First, embedding efficiency can
be determined by answering the following questions [7], [8]:
1) how safe is the steganographic method to conceal the
hidden information inside the carrier object? 2) how precise
are the steganograms’ qualities after the hiding procedure
occurs? and 3) is the secret message undetectable from the
steganogram? In other words, the steganography method is
highly efficient if it includes encryption, imperceptibility,
and undetectability characteristics. The high efficient algo-
rithm conceals the covert information into the carrier data
5354
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VOLUME 5, 2017
R. J. Mstafa et al.: Robust and Secure Video Steganography Method in DWT-DCT Domains Based on MOT and ECC
FIGURE 1. General diagram of the steganography method.
by utilizing some of the encoding and encryption techniques
prior to embedding stage for improving the security of the
underlying algorithm [9]. Fig. 1 represents the general model
of steganographic method.
Steganograms with low alteration rate and high quality
do not draw the hacker’s attention, and thus will avoid any
suspicion for the covert information [10]. If the steganogra-
phy method is more effective, then the steganalytical detec-
tors will find it more challenging to detect the hidden
message [11].
The hiding capacity is the second fundamental requirement
which permits any steganography method to increase the size
of hidden message taking into account the visual quality
of the steganograms. The hiding capacity is the quantity of
the covert messages inserted inside the carrier object [12].
In ordinary steganographic methods, both hiding capacity
and embedding efficiency are contradictory [13]. Conversely,
if the hiding capacity is increased, then the quality of the
steganograms will be diminished, decreasing the efficiency
of underlying method. The embedding efficiency is affected
by embedding capacity [14]. To increase the hiding capacity
with the minimum alteration rate of the carrier object, many
steganographic methods have been presented using differ-
ent strategies. These methods utilize linear block codes and
matrix encoding fundamentals which include BCH codes,
Hamming codes, Cyclic codes, Reed-Solomon codes, and
Reed-Muller codes [15], [16].
Robustness is the third requirement which measures the
steganographic method’s strength against attacks and signal
processing operations [17]. These operations contain geomet-
rical transformation, compression, cropping, and filtering.
A steganographic method is robust whenever the recipient
obtains the secret message accurately, without bit errors.
An efficient steganography method withstands against both
adaptive noises and signal processing operations [18], [19].
A. RELATED WORK
Chang et al. [20] presented a data concealing algorithm
using a High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) utilizing both
DCT and Discrete Sine Transform (DST) methods. In this
scheme, HEVC intra frames are used to conceal the hidden
message without propagating the error of the distortion drift
to the adjacent blocks. Blocks of quantized DCT (QDCT)
and DST coefficients are selected for embedding the secret
data by using a specific intra prediction mode. The combina-
tion modes of adjacent blocks will produce three directional
patterns of error propagation for data hiding, consisting of
vertical, horizontal, and diagonal. Each of the error propa-
gation patterns has a range of intra prediction modes that
protect a group of pixels in any particular direction. The
range of the modes begins at 0 and ends at 34. Chang et al.’s
algorithm has a low embedding payload because the selec-
tion of blocks for the embedding process must meet certain
conditions.
Ma et al. [21] presented a video data hiding for H.264
coding without having an error accumulation in the intra
video frames. In the intra frame coding, the current block
predicts its data from the encoded adjacent blocks, specif-
ically from the boundary pixels of upper and left blocks.
Thus, any embedding process that occurs in these blocks
will propagate the distortion, negatively, to the current block.
In addition, the distortion drift will be increased toward the
lower right intra frame blocks. To prevent this distortion
drift, authors have developed three conditions to determine
the directions of intra frame prediction modes. To select
4×4 QDCT coefficients of the luminance component for
data embedding, the three raised conditions must be sat-
isfied together. However, this method has a low embed-
ding capacity because only the luminance of the intra frame
blocks that meet the three conditions are selected for hiding
data.
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Shahid et al. [22] proposed a reconstruction loop for
embedding information of intra and inter frames for
H.264/AVC video codec. This method embeds the secret
message into the LSB of QDCT coefficients. Only non-
zero QDCT coefficients are chosen for data hiding process,
utilizing the predefined threshold, which directly depends on
the size of secret information. Edges, texture, and motion
regions of intra and inter frames are utilized in the conceal-
ing process. Shahid et al.’s algorithm extracts the hidden
message easily and maintains the efficiency of compression
domain.
Wang et al. [23] presented a real-time watermarking
method in the H.264/AVC codec based on the context
adaptive binary arithmetic coding (CABAC) features. The
CABAC encoder uses a unary binarization, which is a pro-
cess of concatenating all binary values of syntax elements.
A certain number of motion vectors for both predicted and bi-
directionally predicted frames are utilized for the data hiding
process using the CABAC properties. The secret watermark
is concealed by displacing the binary sequence of the selected
syntax elements orderly. This method achieves a low degra-
dation of the video quality because of the difference between
the original code and the replacement code is very small (at
most 1 bit is altered out of the 8-bits of the selected motion
vector). This small difference is also the reason of achieving
a little bit-rate increase. The percentage of the increased bit-
rate, µ, is calculated as follows:
µ=mu
u×100% (1)
Where u and m indicate the bit-rate of the original and
the watermarked videos respectively. Liu et al. [24] pre-
sented a robust data hiding using H.264/AVC codec with-
out a deformation accumulation in the intra frame based
on BCH codes. By using the directions of the intra frame
prediction, the deformation accumulation of the intra frame
can be prevented. Some blocks will be chosen as carrier
object for concealing the covert message. This procedure will
rely on the prediction of the intra frame modes of adjacent
blocks to prevent the deformation that proliferates from the
neighboring blocks. The authors applied BCH encoding to
the hidden message before the embedding phase to enhance
the method performance. Then, the encoded information is
concealed into the 4 ×4 QDCT coefficients using only a
luminance plane of the intra frame. Liu et al. defined N
as a positive integer and ˜
Yij as selected DCT coefficients
(i, j =0,1,2,3). The embedding process of this method is
carried out by the following steps:
1) If ˜
Yij=N+1 or ˜
Yij6= N, then the ˜
Yij will be
modified as follows:
˜
Yij =
˜
Yij +1if ˜
Yij 0 and ˜
Yij=N+1
˜
Yij 1if ˜
Yij <0 and ˜
Yij=N+1
˜
Yij if ˜
Yij6= N+1 or ˜
Yij6= N
(2)
2) If the secret bit is 1 and ˜
Yij=N, then the ˜
Yij will be
changed as follows:
˜
Yij =(˜
Yij +1 if ˜
Yij 0 and ˜
Yij =N
˜
Yij 1 if ˜
Yij <0 and ˜
Yij =N(3)
3) If the secret bit is 0 and ˜
Yij=N, then the ˜
Yij will not
be modified.
Ke et al. [25] presented a video steganography method
relies on replacing the bits in H.264 stream. In this algorithm,
context adaptive variable length coding (CAVLC) entropy
coding has been applied in the data concealing process. Dur-
ing the video coding and after the quantization stage, authors
used non-zero coefficients of high frequency regions for the
luminance component of the embedding process. Here, non-
zero coefficients in high frequency bands are almost ‘‘+1’’
or ‘‘-1’’. The embedding phase can be completed based on
the trailing ones sign flag and the level of the codeword
parity flag. The sign flag of the trailing ones changes if the
embedding bit equals ‘‘0’’ and the parity of the codeword
is even. Also, the sign flag changes if the embedding bit
equals ‘‘1’’ and the parity of the codeword is odd. Otherwise,
the sign flag of the trailing ones does not change. The trailing
ones are modified as follows:
Trailing Ones =(even codeword ;if secret bit =0
odd codeword;if secret bit =1(4)
The modification of high frequency coefficients does not
have an impact on the video quality. However, the embedding
capacity is low because Ke et al.s method is established on
the non-zero coefficients of the high frequencies that consist
of a large majority of zeros.
Alavianmehr et al. [26] presented a robust uncompressed
video steganography by utilizing the histogram distribution
constrained (HDC). In this method, the Ycomponent of every
frame is segmented into non-overlapping blocks (C) of size
m×n. Then, the secret message is concealed into these
blocks based on the shifting process. The selected blocks
are changed only when the secret message bits are ‘‘1’’.
Alavianmehr et al.’s method withstands against compression
attack. However, it utilizes only Yplane for data embedding
process.
B. MOTIVATIONS AND RESEARCH PROBLEM
Video steganography is getting the attention of researchers
in the area of video processing due to substantial growth in
video data. The recent literature reports a significant amount
of video steganography algorithms. Unfortunately, many of
these algorithms lack the preprocessing stages. Particularly,
there is no video steganography algorithm that includes pre-
processing stages for both secret messages and cover videos.
Moreover, existing steganography techniques suffer major
weakness in several aspects including security, embedding
capacity, imperceptibility, and robustness against attacks.
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R. J. Mstafa et al.: Robust and Secure Video Steganography Method in DWT-DCT Domains Based on MOT and ECC
This paper is motivated by the limitations of the existing
video steganography algorithms, and is based on the follow-
ing reasons to improve the performance of these algorithms:
By utilizing the preprocessing stages to include the
manipulation on both secret messages and cover videos
earlier to the embedding stage in order to enhance the
security and robustness of the steganographic method.
Using a portion of each video frame as regions of interest
for the concealing process, the imperceptibility of stego
videos will improve. Accordingly, we track multiple
moving objects in video. Since it is very challenging for
hackers to recognize the position of the hidden message
in video frames because the hidden message is only
concealed into moving objects, which changes over time
from one frame to another, it is necessary to preserve the
security and robustness of embedded data.
Applying encryption methods and ECC such as Ham-
ming codes and BCH codes to encode the hidden mes-
sage earlier to the concealing stage will produce a secure
and robust steganographic algorithm.
Transforming video frames into frequency domain such
as DWT and DCT transformations will improve the
robustness of the steganographic method against attacks,
hence preserving imperceptibility of stego videos.
The remaining parts of the paper are organized as follows:
Section 2 explains DWT and DCT transformations. Hamming
and BCH ECC are given in Section 3. Section 4 presents
the motion-based MOT. The proposed video steganography
methodology is illustrated in Section 5. Section 6 provides
experimental results and discussion. Finally, Section 7 con-
cludes the paper and suggests future directions.
II. DWT AND DCT TRANSFORMATIONS
DWT and DCT are well-known methods which convert digi-
tal data from the spatial domain to the transform domain [27].
First, the two-dimensional DWT is a multi-resolution process
that decomposes the video frame into approximation, hori-
zontal, vertical, and diagonal sub-bands using low and high
pass decomposition filters. Fig. 2 illustrates the first level of
a two-dimensional DWT decomposition showing each of LL,
LH, HL, and HH sub-bands. In order to perform an absolute
reconstruction process, the following wavelet equations are
required:
Lo_D(z)Hi_D(z)+Lo_R(z)Hi_R(z)=2 (5)
Lo_R(z)=zkHi_D(z)(6)
Hi_R(z)=zkLo_D(z) (7)
Where Lo_D(z)and Hi_D(z)indicate the decomposition
wavelet filters, and Lo_R(z)and Hi_R(z)represent the
reconstruction wavelet filters. Haar wavelet filters are given
in the following questions:
Lo_D(z)=1
2(1 +z1) (8)
Hi_D(z)=(z+1) (9)
FIGURE 2. First level of a two-dimensional DWT decomposition [28].
Hi_R(z)=1
2(z1)(10)
Lo_R(z)=z11(11)
Second, the DCT is mainly applied in video and image
compression. A two-dimensional DCT represents to a
one-dimensional DCT which applies on the first dimen-
sion followed by a one-dimensional DCT on the second
dimension [29], [30]. A video frame, A, of size M×N, the
two-dimensional DCT and the inverse of the two-dimensional
DCT are calculated as follows, respectively [31]:
Bpq = ∝pqXM1
m=0XN1
n=0Amn
cos π(2m+1)p
2Mcos π(2n+1)q
2N(12)
Amn =XM1
p=0XN1
q=0pqBpq
cos π(2m+1)p
2Mcos π(2n+1)q
2N(13)
Where p=
1
M,p=0
r2
M,1pM1
And q=
1
N,q=0
q2
N,1qN1
pand qare the transformations of mand n, and they have
the resolution of M×N.
III. HAMMING AND BCH ECC
In our proposed work, the Hamming (7, 4) codes is uti-
lized (n=7, k=4, and p=3), where a unique bit
error can be fixed. A message of size M(m1,m2,...,mk)
is encoded by adding p(p1,p2,p3) additional bits as par-
ity to be converted into a codeword of 7-bit length [32].
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FIGURE 3. Venn diagram of the Hamming codes (7, 4).
The ordinary combination of each message and parity are to
sort parity bits at the order of 2i(i =0,1,...,nk) such as
p1,p2,m1,p3,m2,m3,m4arrangement. A Venn diagram of
the hamming codes (7, 4) is illustrated in the Fig. 3.
In addition to Hamming codes, BCH (7, 4) codes are also
used over the Galois field GF (2m), where m=3, k=4, and
n=231=7. BCH codes are strong random cyclic codes
which are utilized to detect and correct errors. The generator
polynomial g(x) is the polynomial of the lowest degree in the
Galois field GF (2), with ,2,3,...,2tas roots on the
condition that is a primitive of GF (2m). When Mi(x)is a
minimal polynomial of iwhere (1i2t), then the least
common multiple (LCM) of 2t minimal polynomials will be
the generator polynomial g(x). The parity-check matrix H and
g(x) function of the BCH codes [19], [33] are illustrated as
follows:
H=
1∝ ∝23. . . n1
13 3233. . . 3n1
15 5253. . . 5n1
· · · · ·
· · · · ·
· · · · ·
12t12t122t13. . . 2t1n1
(14)
g(x)=lcmM1(x),M2(x),M3(x),...,M2t(x)(15)
g(x)=M1(x)M3(x)M5(x). . . M2t1(x)(16)
A binary BCH (n,k,t)codes can fix t-bit errors in a
codeword W= {w0,w1,w2,...,wn1of size n and a
secret message A= {a0,a1,a2,...,ak1of length k [34].
An embedded codeword C= {c0,c1,c2,...,cn1is calcu-
lated as follows:
C=WHT(17)
At the recipient end, the code R= {r0,r1,r2,...,rn1
is acquired. Each of the original and obtained codewords
are described as polynomials, where C(X)=c0+c1x1+
. . . +cn1xn1, and R(X)=r0+r1x1+. . . +rn1xn1.E
represents the error between Cand R.Eand syndrome Yare
calculated as follows:
E=RC(18)
Y=(RC)HT=EHT(19)
IV. MOTION-BASED MOT
Due to its various applications, computer vision is one of
the fastest emerging fields in computer science. The detec-
tion and tracking of moving objects within the computer
vision field has recently gained significant attention [35].
Lin et al. [36] proposed a tube-and-droplet-based approach
for representing and analyzing motion trajectories. This paper
addressed main issues of motion trajectories in an informative
manner. Firstly, a 3D tube is constructed to represent the
trajectories. Then a droplet vector is derived from the con-
structed 3D tube, which has the following properties: 1) the
motion information of a trajectory is maintained, 2) the entire
contextual pattern throughout a trajectory is embedded, and
3) information about a trajectory in an obvious and unified
manner is visualized.
Another related work is presented by Ma et al. [37] about
long-term correlation tracking by addressing visual track-
ing issues caused by abrupt motion, heavy occlusion, defor-
mation, and out-of-view. The method decomposed the task
of tracking into translation and scale estimation of objects.
The accuracy and reliability of the translation estimation is
improved by considering the correlation between temporal
contexts, resulting in better efficiency, accuracy, and robust-
ness compared to existing methods of literature.
Ma et al. [38] proposed hierarchical convolutional features
for visual tracking by improving the tracking accuracy and
robustness using deep features of convolutional neural net-
works. In order to encode the target appearance, the corre-
lation filters have learned on each convolutional layer. The
experimental results show that Mas algorithm outperformed
related works.
The tracking of moving objects is commonly divided into
two major phases: 1) detection of moving objects in an
individual video frame, and 2) association of these detected
objects throughout all video frames in order to construct
complete tracks [39], [40].
In the first phase, the background subtraction technique
is utilized to detect the regions of interest such as moving
objects. This technique is based on the Gaussian mixture
model (GMM), which is the probability of density func-
tion that equals to a weighted sum of component Gaussian
densities. The background subtraction method computes the
differences between consecutive frames that generate the
foreground mask. Then, the noises will be eliminated from
the foreground mask by using morphological operations.
As a result, the corresponding moving objects are detected
from groups of connected pixels.
The second phase is called data association. It is based
on the motion of the detected object. A Kalman filter is
employed to speculate the motion of each trajectory. In each
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FIGURE 4. The proposed video steganography framework.
FIGURE 5. Process of encrypting and encoding input messages.
video frame, the location of each trajectory is predicted by
the Kalman filter. Moreover, the Kalman filter is utilized to
determine the probability of a specific detection that belongs
to each trajectory [39].
V. THE PROPOSED VIDEO STEGANOGRAPHY
METHODOLOGY
A robust and secure video steganography method in DWT-
DCT domains based on MOT and ECC is presented. The
major stages of the proposed video steganography framework
are illustrated in Fig. 4. A sizeable text data of 15.91 MB is
utilized as s secret messages, and it is preprocessed prior to
the data embedding interval, which is ciphered and coded by
Hamming and BCH (7, 4) codes. Fig. 5 illustrates the process
of securing input messages prior to the embedding stage. The
proposed steganographic algorithm is structured into three
stages:
A. MOTION-BASED MOT STAGE
The motion-based MOT algorithm has been previously
explained in Section 4. The process of identifying the
moving objects in the video frames must be carried out when
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FIGURE 6. Left column: four video frames from S2L1 PETS200 9
dataset [41], middle column: detecting multiple motion objects in the
corresponding frames, and right column: foreground masks for the
corresponding frames.
motion object regions are utilized as host data. This process is
achieved by detecting each moving object within an individ-
ual frame, and then associating these detections throughout
all of the video frames. The background subtraction method
is applied to detect the moving objects based on the GMM.
It also computes the differences between consecutive frames
that generate the foreground mask. Then, the Kalman filter
is employed to predict estimation trajectory of each moving
region. Fig. 6 shows a number of video frames that contain
multiple objects and their foreground masks.
B. DATA EMBEDDING STAGE
In entire video frames, the host data of our proposed method is
the motion objects that are considered as regions of interest.
By using the motion-based MOT algorithm, the process of
detecting and tracking the motion regions over all video
frames are achieved. The regions of interest altered in each
video frame is dependent on the number and the size of the
moving objects. In every frame, 2D-DWT is implemented on
RGB channels of each motion region resulting LL, LH, HL,
and HH subbands.
In addition, 2D-DCT is also applied on the same motion
regions generating DC and AC coefficients. Thereafter, the
secret messages are concealed into LL, LH, HL, and HH of
DWT coefficients, and into DC and AC of DCT coefficients
of each motion object separately based on its foreground
mask. Furthermore, both secret keys are transmitted to the
receiver side by embedding them into the non-motion area of
the first frame. Upon accomplishment, the stego video frames
are rebuild in order to construct the stego video that can
be transmitted through the unsecure medium to the receiver.
Algorithm 1 clarifies the major steps of our embedding
algorithm.
C. DATA EXTRACTION STAGE
In order to recover hidden messages accurately, the embed-
ded video is separated into a number of frames through
the receiver side, and then two secret keys are obtained
from the non-motion region of the first video frame. To
predict trajectories of motion objects, the motion-based MOT
algorithm is applied again by the receiver. Then, 2D-DWT
Algorithm 1 Data Embedding Stage
and 2D-DCT are employed on the RGB channels of each
motion object in order to create LL, LH, HL, and HH
subbands, and DC and AC coefficients, respectively. Next,
the extracting process of the embedded data is achieved by
obtaining the secret messages from LL, LH, HL, HH, DC, and
AC coefficients of each motion region over all video frames
based on the same foreground masks used in the embedding
stage. The extracted secret message is decoded by Hamming
and BCH (7, 4), and then decrypted to obtain the original
message. The essential steps of data extracting algorithm are
shown in the Algorithm 2.
VI. EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
A S2L1 video sequence was used from the well-known
PETS2009 dataset [41]. The proposed algorithm results are
achieved using MATLAB implementation of the algorithm.
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Algorithm 2 Data Extracting Stage
FIGURE 7. Visual quality assessment: The first line illustrates the original
574th frame of the tested video along with histograms of its RGB
channels. The 2nd line shows the stego 574th frame of the tested video
and histograms of RGB channels after embedding stage.
The cover video consists of a 768 ×576 video dimension at
30 frames/sec, and a 12684 kbps data rate. The video
FIGURE 8. The PSNR comparison of the experiment video in DWT domain.
FIGURE 9. The PSNR comparison of the tested video in DCT domain.
TABLE 1. Average PSNR each of R, G, and B component of the experment
video after applying DWT and DCT transform domains.
sequence also includes 795 frames; each frame has multiple
moving objects. In the entire video frames, the text messages
appear as a sizeable file divided based on the number and size
of the moving objects.
A. VISUAL QUALITY
The imperceptibility of our proposed scheme is measured by
utilizing a PSNR measurement, which is a well-known metric
and can be calculated as follows [42]:
PSNR =10 Log10 MAX2
A
MSE !(dB) (20)
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TABLE 2. Performance comparison of the proposed method with other existing methods.
MSE =
a
P
i=1
b
P
j=1
c
P
k=1
[A(i,j,k)B(i,j,k)]2
a×b×c(21)
Where Aand Bindicate the original and embedded
frames, respectively, aand brefer to video dimen-
sions, and crefers to the RGB color components (k=1,
2, and 3). MAXAis the highest pixel value of the
frame A.
Fig. 7 illustrates the original and stego 574th frame of the
tested video along with histograms of their RGB components.
The histograms show no obvious alteration in the video qual-
ity. Fig. 8 illustrates the PSNR comparison of the experiment
video when using one LSB, two LSBs, and three LSBs of
each motion object’s DWT coefficients, including each of LL,
LH, HL, and HH subbands. The PSNR values equal 49.01,
42.70, and 36.41 dBs when using one LSB, two LSBs, and
three LSBs of each coefficient, respectively. Fig. 9 illustrates
the PSNR comparison of the tested video when using one
LSB, two LSBs, and three LSBs of each motion object’s DCT
coefficients, including both DCs and ACs. Here, the PSNR
values equal 48.67, 41.45, and 35.95 dBs for each one LSB,
two LSBs, and three LSBs, respectively. Table I clarifies the
average of visual qualities based on DWT and DCT domains.
Overall, the embedded videos’ qualities are near to the host
videos’ qualities because of the high values of PNSRs for our
proposed algorithm.
B. EMBEDDING CAPACITY
According to [43], our suggested method has a high embed-
ding capacity. Here, the average of the gained hiding ratio is
3.40% when our algorithm operates in DWT domain. This
FIGURE 10. The embedding capacity comparison of the experiment in
each of DWT-DCT domains.
average has increased to 3.46% when the proposed algorithm
operates in DCT domain. The average sizes of secret mes-
sages in both domains are 31.38, 62.77 and 94.15 Megabits
when using one LSB, two LSBs, and three LSBs of DWT
and DCT coefficients, respectively. The hiding ratio (HR) is
calculated as follows [44]:
HR =Size of embedded message
Video size ×100% (22)
Fig. 10 illustrates the payload capacity of algorithm while
using DWT and DCT domains. The figure has shown the
comparison of the embedding capacity of the tested video
when one LSB, two LSBs, and three LSBs of the moving
objects’ DWT and DCT coefficients are utilized separately.
Table II shows that our suggested method outperforms other
related methods.
5362 VOLUME 5, 2017
R. J. Mstafa et al.: Robust and Secure Video Steganography Method in DWT-DCT Domains Based on MOT and ECC
TABLE 3. Sim and BER values of our method under various attacks.
C. ROBUSTNESS
Similarity (Sim) and Bit Error Rate (BER) metrics have
been utilized [7]. The Sim (0Sim 1)and BER can be
calculated in the following equations [45], [46]:
Sim =
a
P
i=1
b
P
j=1
[M(i,j)׈
M(i,j)]
sa
P
i=1
b
P
j=1
M(i,j)2×sa
P
i=1
b
P
j=1ˆ
M(i,j)2
(23)
BER =
a
P
i=1
b
P
j=1
[M(i,j)ˆ
M(i,j)]
a×b×100% (24)
where Mand ˆ
Mare the original and obtained messages,
respectively, and a×bis the size of the hidden messages. The
algorithm used different attacks such as Gaussian noise, Salt
& pepper noise, and median filtering. The highest robustness
of our method can be achieved when the maximum Sim
and minimum BER values are gained. Table III shows the
robustness of the suggested method against different attacks.
VII. CONCLUSION
A robust and secure video steganography method in DWT-
DCT domains based on MOT and ECC is proposed in this
paper. The proposed algorithm is three-fold: 1) the motion-
based MOT algorithm, 2) data embedding, and 3) data extrac-
tion. The performance of our suggested method is verified via
extensive experiments, demonstrating the high embedding
capacity with an average HR of 3.40% and 3.46% for DWT
and DCT domains, respectively. An average PSNR of 49.01
and 48.67 dBs for DWT and DCT domains are achieved
leading to a better visual quality for the proposed algorithm
when compared to existing methods of the literature. The
proposed algorithm has utilized MOT and ECC as the prepro-
cessing stages which in turn provides a better confidentiality
to the secret message prior to embedding phase. Moreover,
through experiments from different perspectives, the security
and robustness of the method against various attacks have
been confirmed. In our future work, we will apply our algo-
rithm in some other frequency domains such as curvelet trans-
form for further improving the efficiency, visual quality, and
security.
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RAMADHAN J. MSTAFA (M’14) was born
in Duhok, Kurdistan Region, Iraq. He received
the bachelor’s degree in computer science from
Salahaddin University-Erbil, Erbil, Iraq, and the
master’s degree in computer science from the Uni-
versity of Duhok, Duhok. He is currently pursuing
the Ph.D. degree in computer science and engi-
neering with the University of Bridgeport, Bridge-
port, CT, USA. His research areas of interest
include image processing, mobile communication,
security, watermarking, and steganography. He is an ACM Student Member.
5364 VOLUME 5, 2017
R. J. Mstafa et al.: Robust and Secure Video Steganography Method in DWT-DCT Domains Based on MOT and ECC
KHALED M. ELLEITHY is currently the Associate
Vice President of Graduate Studies and Research
with the University of Bridgeport. He is also a
Professor of Computer Science and Engineering.
He has over 25 years of teaching experience.
His teaching evaluations are distinguished in all
the universities he joined. He supervised hundreds
of senior projects, M.S. theses, and Ph.D. dis-
sertations. He supervised several Ph.D. students.
He developed and introduced many new under-
graduate/graduate courses. He also developed new teaching/research labo-
ratories in his area of expertise. He has authored over 350 research papers in
international journals and conferences in his areas of expertise. He is an Edi-
tor or a Co-Editor for 12 books by Springer. He has research interests in the
areas of wireless sensor networks, mobile communications, network security,
quantum computing, and formal approaches for design and verification.
He is a member of technical program committees of many international con-
ferences as recognition of his research qualifications. He was the Chairman
of the International Conference on Industrial Electronics, Technology and
Automation, IETA 2001, 2001, Cairo, Egypt. Also, he is the General Chair
of the 2005–2013 International Joint Conferences on Computer, Information,
and Systems Sciences, and Engineering virtual conferences. He served as a
Guest Editor for several International Journals.
EMAN ABDELFATTAH received the M.S. degree
in computer science and the Ph.D. degree in com-
puter science and engineering from the University
of Bridgeport in 2002 and 2011, respectively.
She was a Professional Assistant Professor of
Computer Science with the School of Engineering
and Computing Sciences, Texas A&M University-
Corpus Christi. She was also an Adjunct Professor
with the Department of Computer Science and
Engineering and the Department of Mathematics,
University of Bridgeport. She is currently a Lecturer with the School of
Computing, Sacred Heart University, and also an Adjunct Assistant Professor
with American Intercontinental University Online. Her research results were
published in prestigious international conferences. She has research interests
in the areas of network security, networking, and mobile communications.
She actively participated as a Committee Member of the International Con-
ferences on Engineering Education, Instructional Technology, Assessment,
and E-learning from 2005 to 2014.
VOLUME 5, 2017 5365
... In the study of the same authors in 2017, secret data was hidden in videos using multiple object tracking (MOT) algorithm and error correcting algorithms in discrete cosine transform (DCT) and discrete wavelet transform (DWT) spaces. In addition, the secret data is encoded by Hamming and Bose, Chaudhuri, and Hocquenghem methods [11]. In 2017, Sadek et al. determine the parts of the skin and hide data in the video frame with the wavelet quantization technique [12]. ...
... As seen from Eqs. (11) to (12), the selected frame numbers increase as the number of n grows. The selection of more frames increases the data hiding capacity. ...
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