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DOI: 10.1145/3581783.3611920

Securing Fixed Neural Network Steganography

Zicong LuoSheng LiGuobiao LiZhenxing QianXinpeng Zhang
Sep 2023
Image steganography is the art of concealing secret information in images in a way that is imperceptible to unauthorized parties. Recent advances show that is possible to use a fixed neural network (FNN) for secret embedding and extraction. Such fixed neural network steganography (FNNS) achieves high steganographic performance without training the networks, which could be more useful in real-world applications. However, the existing FNNS schemes are vulnerable in the sense that anyone can extract the secret from the stego-image. To deal with this issue, we propose a key-based FNNS scheme to improve the security of the FNNS, where we generate key-controlled perturbations from the FNN for data embedding. As such, only the receiver who possesses the key is able to correctly extract the secret from the stego-image using the FNN. In order to improve the visual quality and undetectability of the stego-image, we further propose an adaptive perturbation optimization strategy by taking the perturbation cost into account. Experimental results show that our proposed scheme is capable of preventing unauthorized secret extraction from the stego-images. Furthermore, our scheme is able to generate stego-images with higher visual quality than the state-of-the-art FNNS scheme, especially when the FNN is a neural network for ordinary learning tasks.
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