Innovative C4I Technologies: Secure Handling of Intelligence Data

Period of Performance: 04/15/1998 - 04/15/2000

$645K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Mission Research Corp.
735 State Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Principal Investigator

Research Topics

Abstract

Mission Research Corporation (MRC) proposes to further develop, extend, test, and implement efficient and secure methods for hiding secret information in digital images. The proposed effort is based on important research results obtained in Phase I. Secret information is encrypted and hidden inside a digital image (a carrier) by slightly modifying the carrier. The changes are imperceptible to the human eye. Capacity of the hidden channel can be traded for robustness. Either a large message can be hidden in the noise component of the carrier image by carefully exploiting the statistics of the noise and the image content, or a short message can be robustly embedded in the carrier so that it can be recovered even from images that have been severely corrupted, modified, intentionally changed, or filtered. Both methods will be particularly useful for secure intelligence data handling, secure transmission of data over public channels, low-probability-of-intercept communications, data protection, digital data copy right protection, authentication, and fingerprinting. A prototype system for message hiding/watermarking of digital images, digital videostreams, and hard copies running under Windows 95(98)/NT will be delivered. The user will be able to specify the degree of security, robustness, and visibility for the hidden message.