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JPEG Steganography Detection with Benford's Law

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-257
JournalDigital Investigation
Issue number3-4
Early online date19 Feb 2013
DateE-pub ahead of print - 19 Feb 2013
DatePublished (current) - 15 Mar 2013


In this paper we present a novel approach to the problem of steganography detection in JPEG images by applying a statistical attack. The method is based on the empirical Benford's Law and, more specifically, on its generalized form. We prove and extend the validity of the logarithmic rule in colour images and introduce a blind steganographic method which can flag a file as a suspicious stego-carrier. The proposed method achieves very high accuracy and speed and is based on the distributions of the first digits of the quantized Discrete Cosine Transform coefficients present in JPEGs. In order to validate and evaluate our algorithm, we developed steganographic tools which are able to analyse image files and we subsequently applied them on the popular Uncompressed Colour Image Database. Furthermore, we demonstrate that not only can our method detect steganography but, if certain criteria are met, it can also reveal which steganographic algorithm was used to embed data in a JPEG file.

    Research areas

  • Steganalysis, Generalized Benford's Law, Steganography detection, Data hiding, Quantized DCT coefficients

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