Source anonymization of digital images: a counter–forensic attack on PRNU based source identification techniques

Published in Annual Conference on Digital Forensics, Security and Law, 2017

A lot of photographers and human rights advocates need to hide their identity while sharing their images on the internet. Hence, source-anonymization of digital images has become a critical issue in the present digital age. The current literature contains a few digital forensic techniques for” source-identification” of digital images, one of the most efficient of them being Photo-Response Non-Uniformity (PRNU) sensor noise pattern based source detection. PRNU noise pattern being unique to every digital camera, such techniques prove to be highly robust way of sourceidentification. In this paper, we propose a counter-forensic technique to mislead this PRNU sensor noise pattern based source-identification, by using a median filter to suppress PRNU noise in an image, iteratively. Our experimental results prove that the proposed method achieves considerably higher degree of source anonymity, measured as an inverse of Peak-to-Correlation Energy (PCE) ratio, as compared to the state-of-the-art.

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