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Steganography in beautified mages

The authors are with School of Communication and Information Engineering, Shanghai University, Shanghai, 200444, P. R. China.

Existing distortion functions in steganography which achieved high undetectability are designed for unprocessed natural image. Nowadays, a large number of images are filtered before transmitting for the sake of beautification. In this situation, existing distortion functions should be improved to fit the properties of these beautified images. This paper proposes a distortion function optimization method for steganography on beautified images. Given an unprocessed image, a popular image beautification software is employed to produce two similar beautified images. One of them is used for embedding and the other one is employed as reference. Guided by the reference, existing distortion functions are improved by distinguishing the embedding costs for ±1 embedding. After embedding, the stego image is closer to the reference, which results in a higher undetectability against steganalysis. Experimental results also proved the increasing of undetectability when examined by modern steganalytic tools.
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© 2019 the Author(s), licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licese (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

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