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Encryption, data hiding and watermarking: Subject of new book by NJIT expert

Terrorists might use it to mask their messages: it's called data hiding - the subject of a new book by Ali Akansu, PhD, professor of electrical and computer engineering at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT).

Akansu's book, Data Hiding Fundamentals and Applications: Content Security in Digital Multimedia, (Elsevier-Academic Press 2004), develops a theoretical framework for data hiding techniques, including watermarking. Encryption and data hiding are two technologies that play major roles in information security and assurance, Akansu says. A key issue in content-security solutions is the imperceptible insertion of content and information into multimedia data.

"It's a sophisticated research book that has applications for many readers, not just engineers and researchers," Akansu says. "Our government thinks terrorists might use data hiding to pass information to each other by images posted on the public Internet. The book will help information-security engineers learn to decode hidden information in a cover image and retrieve the secret messages."

The book is the first to place data hiding techniques within a framework that tells readers how to calculate the payloads the allowable hidden bits of information and crack the code of data hiding. It details, for instance, a Hollywood company whose films were illegally copied onto pirated videos and sold on the street. Using techniques presented in the book, Akansu shows how the pirated video was traced back to its source.

"These emerging data hiding applications include not only watermarking but also fingerprinting, broadcast monitoring and others," says Akansu. "The book provides performance comparisons of popular data hiding techniques."

"The Internet revolution offered efficient and open solutions for information delivery, Akansu adds. "But this development brought with it concerns about security, monitoring and the use of information by qualified end us
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Contact: Robert Florida
florida@njit.edu
973-596-5203
New Jersey Institute of Technology
6-Dec-2004


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