Watermark-only security attack on DM-QIM watermarking: vulnerability to guided key guessing

B.R. Matam, David Lowe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper addresses the security of a specific class of common watermarking methods based on Dither modulation-quantisation index modulation (DM-QIM) and focusing on watermark-only attacks (WOA). The vulnerabilities of and probable attacks on lattice structure based watermark embedding methods have been presented in the literature. DM-QIM is one of the best known lattice structure based watermarking techniques. In this paper, the authors discuss a watermark-only attack scenario (the attacker has access to a single watermarked content only). In the literature it is an assumption that DM-QIM methods are secure to WOA. However, the authors show that the DM-QIM based embedding method is vulnerable against a guided key guessing attack by exploiting subtle statistical regularities in the feature space embeddings for time series and images. Using a distribution-free algorithm, this paper presents an analysis of the attack and numerical results for multiple examples of image and time series data.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-87
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Digital Crime and Forensics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010


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