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High-Capacity Image Steganography with Minimum Modified Bits Based on Data Mapping and LSB Substitution

1
Department of Computer System & Technology, Faculty of Computer Science & Information Technology, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur 50603, Malaysia
2
Department of Cryptography Development, CyberSecurity Malaysia, Selangor 43300, Malaysia
3
School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, National University of Sciences and Technology, Islamabad 44000, Pakistan
4
Centre for Foundation Studies in Sciences, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur 50603, Malaysia
5
Department of Cyber Security, Kyungil University, Gyeongbuk 38428, Korea
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(11), 2199; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8112199
Received: 30 August 2018 / Revised: 18 September 2018 / Accepted: 19 September 2018 / Published: 9 November 2018
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Abstract

Steganography is the art and practice of communication using hidden messages. The least significant bits (LSB) based method is the well-known type of steganography in the spatial domain. Usually, achieving the larger embedding capacity in LSB-based methods requires a large number of LSB bits modification which indirectly reduces the visual quality of stego-image and increases the risk of steganalysis detection attacks. In this study, we propose a novel steganography method with data mapping strategy which can reduce the number of bits modification per pixel. In the proposed method, four secret data bits are mapped with the four most significant bits of a cover pixel. Furthermore, the only two LSBs of a pixel are modified to indicate the mapping strategy. Experimental results show that the proposed method is able to achieve 3.48% larger embedding capacity while enhancing the visual quality (i.e., peak signal to noise ratio (PSNR) 3.73 dB) and reducing the modification of 0.76 bits per pixel. Moreover, the proposed method provides security against basic Regular and Singular groups (RS) steganalysis and histogram steganalysis detection attacks. View Full-Text
Keywords: steganography; mapping data hiding; information hiding; spatial domain; least significant bits; most significant bits steganography; mapping data hiding; information hiding; spatial domain; least significant bits; most significant bits
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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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Zakaria, A.A.; Hussain, M.; Wahab, A.W.A.; Idris, M.Y.I.; Abdullah, N.A.; Jung, K.-H. High-Capacity Image Steganography with Minimum Modified Bits Based on Data Mapping and LSB Substitution. Appl. Sci. 2018, 8, 2199.

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