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Symmetry 2019, 11(2), 222; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym11020222

EasyStego: Robust Steganography Based on Quick-Response Barcodes for Crossing Domains

College of Computer, National University of Defense Technology, Changsha 410073, China
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Received: 22 January 2019 / Revised: 4 February 2019 / Accepted: 12 February 2019 / Published: 14 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Information Technology and Its Applications 2018)
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Abstract

Despite greater attention being paid to sensitive-information leakage in the cyberdomain, the sensitive-information problem of the physical domain remains neglected. Anonymous users can easily access the sensitive information of other users, such as transaction information, health status, and addresses, without any advanced technologies. Ideally, secret messages should be protected not only in the cyberdomain but also in the complex physical domain. However, popular steganography schemes only work in the traditional cyberdomain and are useless when physical distortions of messages are unavoidable. This paper first defines the concept of cross-domain steganography, and then proposes EasyStego, a novel cross-domain steganography scheme. EasyStego is based on the use of QR barcodes as carriers; therefore, it is robust to physical distortions in the complex physical domain. Moreover, EasyStego has a large capacity for embeddable secrets and strong scalability in various scenarios. EasyStego uses an AES encryption algorithm to control the permissions of secret messages, which is more effective in reducing the possibility of sensitive-information leakage. Experiments show that EasyStego has perfect robustness and good efficiency. Compared with the best current steganography scheme based on barcodes, EasyStego has greater steganographic capacity and less impact on barcode data. In robustness tests, EasyStego successfully extracts secret messages at different angles and distances. In the case of adding natural textures and importing quantitative error bits, other related steganography techniques fail, whereas EasyStego can extract secret messages with a success rate of nearly 100%. View Full-Text
Keywords: steganography; cross-domain; QR barcodes; confidentiality; physical distortions steganography; cross-domain; QR barcodes; confidentiality; physical distortions
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Luo, Z.; Xie, W.; Wang, B.; Tang, Y.; Xing, Q. EasyStego: Robust Steganography Based on Quick-Response Barcodes for Crossing Domains. Symmetry 2019, 11, 222.

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