Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Gilbert L. Peterson, PhD


The use of digital photography has increased over the past few years, a trend which opens the door for new and creative ways to forge images. The manipulation of images through forgery influences the perception an observer has of the depicted scene, potentially resulting in ill consequences if created with malicious intentions. This poses a need to verify the authenticity of images originating from unknown sources in absence of any prior digital watermarking or authentication technique. This research explores the holes left by existing research; specifically, the ability to detect image forgeries created using multiple image sources and specialized methods tailored to the popular JPEG image format. In an effort to meet these goals, this thesis presents four methods to detect image tampering based on fundamental image attributes common to any forgery. These include discrepancies in 1) lighting and 2) brightness levels, 3) underlying edge inconsistencies, and 4) anomalies in JPEG compression blocks. Overall, these methods proved encouraging in detecting image forgeries with an observed accuracy of 60% in a completely blind experiment containing a mixture of 15 authentic and forged images.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number