Decode-time forensic watermarking of AAC bitstreams

Kirbiz S., Lemma A. N., Celik M. U., Katzenbeisser S.

IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INFORMATION FORENSICS AND SECURITY, vol.2, no.4, pp.683-696, 2007 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


In digital rights-management systems, forensic watermarking complements encryption and deters the capture and unauthorized redistribution of the rendered content. In this paper, we propose a novel watermarking method which is integrated into the advanced audio coding (AAC) standard's decoding process. For predefined frequency bands, the method intercepts and modifies the scale factors, which are utilized for dequantization of spectral coefficients. It thereby modulates the short-time envelope of the bandlimited audio and embeds a watermark which is robust to various attacks, such as capture with a microphone and recompression at lower bit rates. Inclusion of watermark embedding in the AAC decoder has practically no effect on the decoding complexity. As a result, the proposed method can be integrated even into resource-constrained devices, such as portable players without any additional hardware.