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Title: CNN Steganalyzers Leverage Local Embedding Artifacts
While convolutional neural networks have firmly established themselves as the superior steganography detectors, little human-interpretable feedback to the steganographer as to how the network reaches its decision has so far been obtained from trained models. The folklore has it that, unlike rich models, which rely on global statistics, CNNs can leverage spatially localized signals. In this paper, we adapt existing attribution tools, such as Integrated Gradients and Last Activation Maps, to show that CNNs can indeed find overwhelming evidence for steganography from a few highly localized embedding artifacts. We look at the nature of these artifacts via case studies of both modern content-adaptive and older steganographic algorithms. The main culprit is linked to “content creating changes” when the magnitude of a DCT coefficient is increased (Jsteg, –F5), which can be especially detectable for high frequency DCT modes that were originally zeros (J-MiPOD). In contrast, J- UNIWARD introduces the smallest number of locally detectable embedding artifacts among all tested algorithms. Moreover, we find examples of inhibition that facilitate distinguishing between the selection channels of stego algorithms in a multi-class detector. The authors believe that identifying and characterizing local embedding artifacts provides useful feedback for future design of steganographic schemes.  more » « less
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13th IEEE Workshop on Information Security and Forensics
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National Science Foundation
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Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official views of any of these organizations. REFERENCES [1] I. Obeid and J. Picone, “The Temple University Hospital EEG Data Corpus,” in Augmentation of Brain Function: Facts, Fiction and Controversy. Volume I: Brain-Machine Interfaces, 1st ed., vol. 10, M. A. Lebedev, Ed. Lausanne, Switzerland: Frontiers Media S.A., 2016, pp. 394 398. [2] V. Shah et al., “The Temple University Hospital Seizure Detection Corpus,” Frontiers in Neuroinformatics, vol. 12, pp. 1–6, 2018. [3] A. Hamid et, al., “The Temple University Artifact Corpus: An Annotated Corpus of EEG Artifacts.” in Proceedings of the IEEE Signal Processing in Medicine and Biology Symposium (SPMB), 2020, pp. 1-3. [4] Y. Roy, R. Iskander, and J. Picone, “The NeurekaTM 2020 Epilepsy Challenge,” NeuroTechX, 2020. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 01-Dec-2021]. [5] S. Rahman, A. Hamid, D. Ochal, I. Obeid, and J. Picone, “Improving the Quality of the TUSZ Corpus,” in Proceedings of the IEEE Signal Processing in Medicine and Biology Symposium (SPMB), 2020, pp. 1–5. [6] V. Shah, E. von Weltin, T. Ahsan, I. Obeid, and J. Picone, “On the Use of Non-Experts for Generation of High-Quality Annotations of Seizure Events,” Available: https://www.isip.picone [Accessed: 01-Dec-2021]. [7] D. Ochal, S. Rahman, S. Ferrell, T. Elseify, I. Obeid, and J. Picone, “The Temple University Hospital EEG Corpus: Annotation Guidelines,” Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, 2020. [8] D. Strayhorn, “The Atlas of Adult Electroencephalography,” EEG Atlas Online, 2014. [Online]. Availabl 
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