Efficient and secure image authentication with robustness and versatility

Chen, Haixia; Huang, Xinyi; Wu, Wei; Mu, Yi

Sci China Inf Sci, 2020, 63(12): 222301

Image authentication is the technology of verifying image origin, integrity and authenticity. A rich stream of research on image authentication has shown various trade-off among four favorable features, namely robustness, security, versatility and efficiency. Image data authentication has the highest level of security but provides no robustness/versatility. Image content authentication from robust hashing keeps robust to limited types of operations, and as a result its versatility is not satisfactory. Existing designs of image content authentication from advanced cryptographic primitives achieve robustness, security and versatility, at the cost of low efficiency. In this paper, we present a new design of image authentication with an improved trade-off among the aforementioned features. Our versatile design is robust to a number of predefined image processing operations. Its security can be reduced to q-strong Diffie-Hellman (q-SDH), a complexity problem used by existing cryptographic algorithms. From the aspect of efficiency, the new design has a constant-size authentication overhead (6 2 kB) and a constant verification time (around 0.05 s). While the time of generating authentication overhead increases linearly with the number of permissible editing operations, it only takes around 0.33 s for 1000 types of permissible operations. We believe the new design will facilitate image applications where trustworthy image editing is required.