Uniform embedding for efficient JPEG steganography

Linjie Guo, Jiangqun Ni, Yun Qing Shi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

268 Scopus citations


Steganography is the science and art of covert communication, which aims to hide the secret messages into a cover medium while achieving the least possible statistical detectability. To this end, the framework of minimal distortion embedding is widely adopted in the development of the steganographic system, in which a well designed distortion function is of vital importance. In this paper, a class of new distortion functions known as uniform embedding distortion function (UED) is presented for both side-informed and non side-informed secure JPEG steganography. By incorporating the syndrome trellis coding, the best codeword with minimal distortion for a given message is determined with UED, which, instead of random modification, tries to spread the embedding modification uniformly to quantized discrete cosine transform (DCT) coefficients of all possible magnitudes. In this way, less statistical detectability is achieved, owing to the reduction of the average changes of the first- and second-order statistics for DCT coefficients as a whole. The effectiveness of the proposed scheme is verified with evidence obtained from exhaustive experiments using popular steganalyzers with various feature sets on the BOSSbase database. Compared with prior arts, the proposed scheme gains favorable performance in terms of secure embedding capacity against steganalysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6776485
Pages (from-to)814-825
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Computer Networks and Communications


  • JPEG steganography
  • distortion function design
  • minimal-distortion embedding
  • uniform embedding


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