Information-Theoretic Bounds for Steganography in Multimedia
Steganography in multimedia aims to embed secret data into an innocent looking multimedia cover object. This embedding introduces some distortion to the cover object and produces a corresponding stego object. The embedding distortion is measured by a cost function that determines the detection probability of the existence of the embedded secret data. A cost function related to the maximum embedding rate is typically employed to evaluate a steganographic system. In addition, the distribution of multimedia sources follows the Gibbs distribution which is a complex statistical model that restricts analysis. Thus, previous multimedia steganographic approaches either assume a relaxed distribution or presume a proposition on the maximum embedding rate and then try to prove it is correct. Conversely, this paper introduces an analytic approach to determining the maximum embedding rate in multimedia cover objects through a constrained optimization problem concerning the relationship between the maximum embedding rate and the probability of detection by any steganographic detector. The KL-divergence between the distributions for the cover and stego objects is used as the cost function as it upper bounds the performance of the optimal steganographic detector. An equivalence between the Gibbs and correlated-multivariate-quantized-Gaussian distributions is established to solve this optimization problem. The solution provides an analytic form for the maximum embedding rate in terms of the WrightOmega function. Moreover, it is proven that the maximum embedding rate is in agreement with the commonly used Square Root Law (SRL) for steganography, but the solution presented here is more accurate. Finally, the theoretical results obtained are verified experimentally.