Background: Recently, information hiding has become an important approach to securely storing and transmitting important information in digital media.
Objectives: This paper proposes a new approach to hide information in a color image with optimized security.
Methods: The approach performs the hiding in two phases. Firstly, the information that needs to be hidden in an image is represented by a sequence of binary bits, and the sequence is shuffled and encrypted with a set of three-dimensional chaotic systems. Secondly, the binary bits in the shuffled and encrypted sequence are hidden into the R, G, and B components of the pixels in the given color image with a dynamic programming approach.
Results: Experimental results show that the proposed approach can securely hide information in a color image without generating significant changes in the visual contents of a color image. The analysis also shows that the proposed approach is robust against potential attacks.
Conclusion: The proposed approach is thus practically useful for applications aimed at image-based information hiding.
Keywords: Information hiding, color images, three-dimensional chaotic systems, optimization, dynamic programming, key space.