Region-based watermarking of biometric images: case study on fingerprint images

Khalil Zebbiche, Fouad Khelifi

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In this paper, a novel scheme to watermark biometric images is proposed. It exploits the fact that biometric images, normally, have one region of interest, which represents the relevant part of information processable by most of the biometric-based identification/authentication systems. This proposed scheme consists of embedding the watermark into the region of interest only; thus, preserving the hidden data from the segmentation process that removes the useless background and keeps the region of interest unaltered; a process which can be used by an attacker as a cropping attack. Also, it provides more robustness and better imperceptibility of the embedded watermark. The proposed scheme is introduced into the optimum watermark detection in order to improve its performance. It is applied to fingerprint images, one of the most widely used and studied biometric data. The watermarking is assessed in two well-known transform domains: the discrete wavelet transform (DWT) and the discrete Fourier transform (DFT). The results obtained are very attractive and clearly show significant improvements when compared to the standard technique, which operates on the whole image. The results also reveal that the segmentation (cropping) attack does not affect the performance of the proposed technique, which also shows more robustness against other common attacks.
Original languageEnglish
Article number492942
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Digital Multimedia Broadcasting
Early online date24 Aug 2008
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2008
Externally publishedYes


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