Covert channel implementation using motion vectors over H.264 compression

Yoram Segal, Ofer Hadar


Embedding information inside video streaming is a hot topic in the world of video broadcasting. Information assimilation can be used for positive purposes, such as copyright protection. On the other hand, it can be used for malicious purposes such as a hostile takeover, remotely, on end-user devices. The basic idea of information assimilation technology within a video is to take advantage of the sequence of frames that flows between the video server and the viewer. Casting foreigner data into each frame such a hidden communication channel is created namely - covert channel. Attackers find the multimedia world in general and video streaming, an attractive backdoor for cyber-attacks. Multimedia covert channels provide reasonable bandwidth and long-lasting transmission streams, suitable for planting malicious information and therefore used as an exploit alternative. In this article, we propose a method to protect against attacks that use video payload for transferring confidential data using a covert channel.  This work is part of a large-scale study of video attack methods. The goal of the study is to build a generic platform that will investigate the reliability of video sequences. The platform allows to encoding and decoding video. A plugin can be added to each encoder or decoder. Each plugin is an algorithm that is studied and developed in the framework of this study. One of the algorithms in this platform is information transmission over video using motion vectors. This method is the topic off this article.

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