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2013 IEEE International Conference on Signal and Image Processing Applications

Melaka, Malaysia

October 08 – 10, 2013

Multimedia Authentication over Noisy Channels

Thursday October 10, 2013 2pm - 5pm

ABSTRACT: Multimedia communications is ubiquitous in digital world. Communication over public networks is prone to security problems, such as data forgery. One of the ways to protect against such attacks is to use cryptographic mechanisms such as message authentication codes (MAC). Such codes detect even minor modifications in the data they protect and the receiver is thus able to reject the falsified information. Due to the nature of the underlying transmission channels, multimedia data, such as text, audio or video, might be received in error. In certain cases, such as uni-directional or real time communications, it is not possible to use networking protocols which guarantees data delivery using retransmissions.

In order to be able to detect forgeries, but at the same time accept minor changes to the multimedia data (e.g., images), new cryptographic MACs are needed. Such MACs should be able to tolerate minor unintentional modifications in the data and at the same time identify the intentional forgeries. Such MACs can be based on the actual multimedia data or on the features extracted from the original data. Such authentication algorithms can be called in general as the approximate or noise tolerant message authentication codes.

This tutorial focuses on the design of such message authentication algorithms.

The first algorithm is based on image authentication using Noise Tolerant Message Authentication Codes (NTMAC) and feature extraction techniques based on Discrete Cosine Transform (DCT). An image is split into different blocks and each block is authenticated using the DCT of that block. Using a different permutation sequence increases or decreases the security of the proposed algorithm. The images are “approximate authenticated”, errors in the images are localized and a correctable number of errors are corrected using error correcting codes such as Turbo codes.

An improved version of this algorithm is based on using the concept of weights based on the important parts of the images, e.g., the DC component of the DCT of each block is more important than other components.

The idea of approximate image authentication is further refined using standard Message Authentication Codes (MACs) combined with error correcting codes (Reed Solomon codes) and feature extraction based on the Discrete Wavelet Transform (DWT). The MAC tag is generated based on the encrypted encoded message and the MAC of the whole image. Minor errors are corrected using Reed Solomon codes before tag verification and then the approximate authentication is performed.

The algorithms are discussed together with their mathematical security analysis, to show their strengths and limitations.


  • Introduction
  • Introduction to error tolerant MACs
  • Applications in multimedia / image transmission
  • Error localization using error tolerant MACs
  • Error correction using error tolerant MACs
  • Security analysis of error tolerant MACs
  • Practical security attacks on existing error tolerant MACs
  • Questions and Answers


This aim of this tutorial is to discuss the importance of “error tolerant” message authentication codes and demonstrate their effectiveness in multimedia communications over noisy channels. There is a lot of literature available on the standard message authentication codes. However, the area of error tolerant MAC is relatively new. The goals and objectives are listed as follows,

  1. Introduce the importance of error tolerant message authentication codes.
  2. Apply the idea of error tolerant MACs to multimedia communications, such as images, over noisy channel.
  3. Demonstrate error localization in images using the error tolerant MACs.
  4. Demonstrate error correction in images using error tolerant MACs.
  5. Discuss the security strengths of such MACs.


Dr. – Ing. Obaid ur Rehman,
University of Siegen
Hoelderlinstr. 3, 57076 Siegen, Germany

Dr. – Ing. habil. Natasa Zivic
University of Siegen
Hoelderlinstr. 3, 57076 Siegen, Germany

Amir Tabatabaei
University of Siegen
Hoelderlinstr. 3, 57076 Siegen, Germany


Dr.-Ing. Obaid Ur-Rehman

Dr.-Ing Obaid Ur-Rehman is a researcher and post doctoral fellow at the University of Siegen, Germany. His main interests are in error correcting codes and computer and network security. Dr.-Ing Ur-Rehman received his M.Sc. degree in 2004 in Computer Engineering from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Engineering and Technology, Taxila. He received his Dr.-Ing degree from the University of Siegen, Germany in 2012, where he worked on soft decoding techniques for error correcting codes and their applications in various fields such as message authentication codes in presence of noise. He continued his work as at a post doctoral position in the same institute. Dr.-Ing Ur-Rehman has more than 6 years of industrial experience together with a few years of academic experience. He is author of various scientific papers in international conferences and journals. He also serves as the reviewer of many international journals.

Dr.-Ing. habil. Natasa Zivic,

Dr.-Ing. habil. Natasa Zivic is an Assistant Professor and a Private Docent at the University of Siegen. She works as a lecturer at the University of Siegen since 2007, teaching Basics of Communication Techniques, Digital Communications Technologies I and Digital Communications Technologies II.

Dr.-Ing. habil. Natasa Zivic received Dipl.- Ing. degree (1999) and a Magister degree (2002) from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering at the University of Belgrade, Serbia. She started her research at the Chair for Data Communications Systems at the University of Siegen, Germany in October 2004. She received Dr.-Ing. Degree from the University Siegen, Faculty for Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2007 and continued her work as a lecturer and as a postdoctoral candidate. She defended her Postdoctoral Degree (Habilitation) in area of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications from the University Siegen in 2012. Her actual areas of interest are connection between cryptography and standard communication techniques like channel coding, and applying of cryptography in communications, especially in noisy environments.

She published about 100 journal and conference papers, 2 monographs and 3 patents (2 in Germany and 1 in USA). She works as a member of the German national body in ISO and as a project editor of security standards. She served as a TPC member and an organizer of several IEEE conferences/workshops and as a technical reviewer of several IEEE and other journals. She is a member of IEEE and IEEE Communication Society.


Amir Tabatabaei

Amir Tabatabaei received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in applied and computational mathematics from University of Tehran and University of Tarbiat Modares, Tehran, Iran. He became a part time lecturer and faculty member in Sadra University in Tehran from 2001 till 2009. From 2004 till 2009 he worked as a researcher in the field of cryptography and more specially cryptanalysis in some reputed R&D departments in electrical industries. He carried out some important national projects in cryptography during this period. He continued his graduate studies from December 2009 in Canada and Siegen, Germany. Since December 2010, he is working as a research assistant and Ph.D. candidate at the Chair for Data Communications Systems, University of Siegen, Germany. His current research field is design and cryptanalysis of fuzzy authentication systems for authenticating of data over noisy channels. He has been the winner of some scholarships and he has several publications in reputed journals and conferences in the field of applied mathematics and cryptography. 


This tutorial is meant for a spread auditorium: communications scientists and researchers having already experience with multimedia communications and data and image authentication, but also those, which are not familiar with the subject of the tutorial, as well as engineers from the industry interested to hear about state – of – the – art in this area and those interested in new developments and new algorithms for image authentication, especially in noisy environments.


The attendees will be provided with the hard – copy and an electronic version of the tutorial presentation. Besides, important references, contacts and links, which can help in further understanding and work in the area of the tutorial, will be given.