October 24, 2012

Role of biometrics in fighting against terrorism: By Sruti

With the growing importance of adequate security measures for well-fare of the mankind, the necessity of human identification has increased dramatically. In response to this necessity, “biometrics” has emerged as a reliable means of identifying a human subject.

The word “biometrics” is derived from two Greek roots: (a) ‘Bios’ meaning life; and (b) ‘Metric’ meaning measurement. Hence “biometrics” involves the study of approaches and algorithms for uniquely identifying humans based on their distinctive biological features.

A biometrics should satisfy the following properties: (a) universality, i.e., the feature should be possessed by every human subject; (b) uniqueness, i.e., the feature of a subject must be sufficiently distinguishable from every other subject; (c) permanency, i.e., the feature must remain unaffected with ageing; (d) measurability, i.e., the feature must be quantitatively measurable with ease; (e) circumvention, i.e., the feature must be nonimitable to restrict imposter accessibility; and (f) acceptability, i.e., The process of acquiring features must be acceptable by the humans.

It can be divided into two types:

1. Physiological biometrics which uses physical attributes of the humans for identification, e.g., face, iris pattern, earlobe geometry, fingerprint.

2. Behavioural biometrics which analyses human behaviour over a stipulated time interval for identification, e.g., voice, gait.

Now dear friends, it is very obvious that both types of biometrics has its own advantages and disadvantages. Physiological biometrics are comparatively easy to capture and analyse, but requires cooperation of the humans for procurement. Whereas, the beauty of behavioural biometrics is that it can be obtained unobtrusively at a distance without interfering with the person’s activity.

In the light of the above discussion, would you like to explore the practical applications of these two types of biometrics? Some recent issues regarding visual surveillance, law enforcement, convictions to criminal cases.......and more!

September 25, 2012

Role of information security in “Terrorism” – By Sruti

Information transmitted over network must be kept secured in order to prevent unauthorised access. In order to fight against world-wide organised crime or terrorism, the information must be kept secret between the sender and the receiver, ensuring no hacking during the transmission process.

In this blog, I would like to discuss about two important issues of information security, i.e., 1. Steganography and 2. Watermarking.


The word Steganography is derived from two Greek words steganos, meaning “covered,” and graphein, meaning “to write.”

Steganography is the art of concealing the presence of information within an innocuous container (image, audio, video etc) such that existence of the hidden message is not known except by the sender and receiver.

Steganography vs. Cryptography:

Cryptography is the practice of ‘scrambling’ messages so that even if detected, they are very difficult to decipher. The purpose of Steganography is to conceal the message such that the very existence of the hidden message is not known.

Thus, steganography can be a feasible alternative in countries where usage of encryption is illegal or in oppressive regimes where using cryptography might attract unwanted attention.

Steganography and Cryptography can be combined to conceal the existence of an encrypted message and thus the security of the message can be enhanced.


Watermarking is the practice of imperceptibly altering a work to embed a message about the work.

The typical application of watermarking is to identify the ownership of the multimedia object or content by embedding the owner mark or watermark into it. The main purpose of digital watermarking is copyright protection. After embedding the watermark, the watermarked media is sent to the receiver via the transmission channel .Whenever the copyright of the digital media is in question, this embedded information is decoded to identify the copyright owner.

Through the use of the Steganography and Watermarking techniques it is now possible to hide any sort of digital media inside any other type of digital media. For example, it is possible to hide a text message, encrypted or plain text, inside of a digital picture or sound file. It is also possible to conceal one type of digital media inside of the same type of digital media. For example an image of a famous painting could be used to conceal a photograph of schematics of some type.

Steganography has been in the news recently as it was members of the al-Qaeda terrorists were communicating by embedding Arabic messages inside digital files, such as JPEGs and MP3s, and distributed over the internet.

Detection of Steganography:

The technique of detecting steganography is known as Steganalysis.The goal of steganalysis is to detect the presence of a secret message within the innocuous container.

Steganography and Watermarking have been used throughout history to protect important information from being discovered by enemies. Today, the Internet is filled with tons of programs that use steganography to hide secret messages. Steganography is in such wide use today that it has been reported that even the terrorist group Al Quida uses it to deliver messages.

Applications of Steganography:

There are many reasons why two parties might wish to secretly communicate. The reason may be benign, as for example, in the case of two lovers who wish to conceal their relationship. Or it may be political, as in the case of a dissident organization wishing to communicate among themselves or with a forbidden organization outside their country. Or it may be criminal, as in the case of organized crime or terrorism.

The following research questions regarding “The Art of Information Hiding-The Watermarking and Steganography Techniques” are uppermost in my mind-

1. How the application of neural networks in the field of watermarking can help us to achieve better imperceptibility?

2. How the applications of genetic algorithms in this field can enhance the performance of watermarking and steganography techniques?

September 19, 2012

Terrorism – horror, loss, crime….

What is terrorism?


Some definitions of terrorism:

1. “the calculated use of unlawful violence or threat of unlawful violence to inculcate fear; intended to coerce or to intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious, or ideological.”

2. “Terrorism is the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives."

3. "An anxiety-inspiring method of repeated violent action, employed by (semi-) clandestine individual, group or state actors, for idiosyncratic, criminal or political reasons, whereby - in contrast to assassination - the direct targets of violence are not the main targets."

What terrorists say? one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter”.

What a victim of terrorist act says? Terrorism is a criminal activity with no regards to human life.

What we aim for?


To make world a peaceful and secure place to live in!

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