This paper proposes a new robust and secure perceptual image hashing technique based on virtual watermark detection. The idea is justified by the fact that the watermark detector responds similarly to perceptually close images using a non embedded watermark. The hash values are extracted in binary form with a perfect control over the probability distribution of the hash bits. Moreover, a key is used to generate pseudo-random noise whose real values contribute to the randomness of the feature vector with a significantly increased uncertainty of the adversary, measured by mutual information, in comparison with linear correlation. Experimentally, the proposed technique has been shown to outperform related state-of-the art techniques recently proposed in the literature in terms of robustness with respect to image processing manipulations and geometric attacks.