Forensic Analysis of Digital Image Tampering

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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 ability to detect image forgeries created using multiple image sources and specialized methods tailored to the popular JPEG image format. Four methods are presented for detection of image tampering based on fundamental image attributes common to any forgery. These include discrepancies in (i) lighting levels, (ii) brightness levels, (iii) underlying edge inconsistencies, and (iv) anomalies in JPEG compression blocks. These methods detected image forgeries with an observed accuracy of 60% in a completely blind experiment containing a mixture of 15 authentic and forged images.


© 2006 International Federation for Information Processing. Published under license by Springer on behalf of IFIP.

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Advances in Digital Forensics. DigitalForensics 2005. IFIP 194