Posted on 31 January 2010

Paper details:

Our work on image compression forensics attempts to identify the compression method used upon an image by analyzing its intrinsic fingerprint. Many popular image compression methods such as JPEG employ block processing. Therefore, to even begin forensic analysis for digital images, we must first address the presence of block processing on our image data. For forensic analysis of block-based coding schemes, estimating the block size is an obvious and crucial first step, because inaccurate block size estimation can possibly invalidate subsequent forensic tests.

Block artifact measurement is a well-established research area, with purposes primarily related to image restoration and distortion measurement. However, artifact measurement for the purpose of forensic analysis has not been explored. Here, we pose the following question: given a compressed image, can we detect the presence of block processing? If so, can we estimate the block size? Existing work in block artifact measurement is not tailored to answer this question due to strong assumptions placed upon the input data.

In this paper, we propose a novel scheme to detect the presence of block processing along with estimation of the block size. We first obtain a block artifact signature and then estimate the block size through maximum-likelihood estimation. Finally, we propose a binary hypothesis test that identifies the presence or absence of block processing with high detection rates and low false alarm rates.