Digital image watermarking: its formal model, fundamental properties and possible attacks
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionEURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing. 2014, 2014:135 . 10.1186/1687-6180-2014-135
While formal definitions and security proofs are well established in some fields like cryptography and steganography, they are not as evident in digital watermarking research. A systematic development of watermarking schemes is desirable, but at present, their development is usually informal, ad hoc, and omits the complete realization of application scenarios. This practice not only hinders the choice and use of a suitable scheme for a watermarking application, but also leads to debate about the state-of-the-art for different watermarking applications. With a view to the systematic development of watermarking schemes, we present a formal generic model for digital image watermarking. Considering possible inputs, outputs, and component functions, the initial construction of a basic watermarking model is developed further to incorporate the use of keys. On the basis of our proposed model, fundamental watermarking properties are defined and their importance exemplified for different image applications. We also define a set of possible attacks using our model showing different winning scenarios depending on the adversary capabilities. It is envisaged that with a proper consideration of watermarking properties and adversary actions in different image applications, use of the proposed model would allow a unified treatment of all practically meaningful variants of watermarking schemes.