Analysis of Seam-Carving-Based Anonymization of Images Against PRNU Noise Pattern-Based Source Attribution

DİRİK A. E., SENCAR H. T., Memon N.

IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INFORMATION FORENSICS AND SECURITY, vol.9, no.12, pp.2277-2290, 2014 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 9 Issue: 12
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Doi Number: 10.1109/tifs.2014.2361200
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.2277-2290
  • Keywords: PRNU noise pattern, seam-carving, source attribution, anonymization, de-anonymization attacks, counter-forensics, DIGITAL CAMERA IDENTIFICATION, SENSOR
  • Bursa Uludag University Affiliated: Yes


The availability of sophisticated source attribution techniques raises new concerns about privacy and anonymity of photographers, activists, and human right defenders who need to stay anonymous while spreading their images and videos. Recently, the use of seam-carving, a content-aware resizing method, has been proposed to anonymize the source camera of images against the well-known photoresponse nonuniformity (PRNU)-based source attribution technique. In this paper, we provide an analysis of the seam-carving-based source camera anonymization method by determining the limits of its performance introducing two adversarial models. Our analysis shows that the effectiveness of the deanonymization attacks depend on various factors that include the parameters of the seam-carving method, strength of the PRNU noise pattern of the camera, and an adversary's ability to identify uncarved image blocks in a seam-carved image. Our results show that, for the general case, there should not be many uncarved blocks larger than the size of 50x50 pixels for successful anonymization of the source camera.