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Hiding Images Within Images

IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, vol. Early Access (2019) (to appear)


We present a system to hide a full color image inside another of the same size with minimal quality loss to either image. Deep neural networks are simultaneously trained to create the hiding and revealing processes and are designed to specifically work as a pair. The system is trained on images drawn randomly from the ImageNet database, and works well on natural images from a wide variety of sources. Beyond demonstrating the successful application of deep learning to hiding images, we examine how the result is achieved and apply numerous transformations to analyze if image quality in the host and hidden image can be maintained. These transformation range from simple image manipulations to sophisticated machine learning-based adversaries. Two extensions to the basic system are presented that mitigate the possibility of discovering the content of the hidden image. With these extensions, not only can the hidden information be kept secure, but the system can be used to hide even more than a single image. Applications for this technology include image authentication, digital watermarks, finding exact regions of image manipulation, and storing meta-information about image rendering and content.