XOR Based Secret Image Sharing Scheme with Security Improvement

Author Name(s): *Javvaji V.K. Ratnam, T. Sreenivasulu Reddy, P. Ramana Reddy
Author Email: ratnamjvklakshmi@yahoo.co.in


A new (k, n) natural secret image sharing scheme based on Boolean XOR operation to improve the secret image security is presented in this research paper. A natural secret image is encrypted into n meaningless noise-like shares by using a random image of same size as original secret, Boolean XOR operations and circular shifting operations. A distinct identifier is used for each share image by swapping bits of a random number during encoding stage. These share images are transmitted over communication channel. The secret image is reconstructed at the receiving end by using at least k or more number of share images with little computations of Boolean XOR operations and circular shifting operations. The proposed scheme is suitable to gray-scale and color images. The experimental results and comparisons give feasibility and consistency of proposed scheme.


The increase in usage of multimedia data over internet communication may lead security problems in transmitting and storing of certain image data. Cryptographic schemes are required to secure valuable data from hackers. Secret image sharing scheme is one of the cryptographic scheme which is used to secure natural images as well as computer generated art works. Traditional cryptographic techniques have disadvantages such as requirement of an algorithm and remembering some part of the secret while decrypting the secret. The secret image sharing (SIS) schemes does not have these disadvantages. Naor and Shamir [1] introduced the concept of visual cryptography in which secret image is divided into n pieces known as share images or shadow images, and minimum k number of shares are collected and simply stacked together at the receiving end for reconstruction of the secret image by human visual system in the SIS scheme. The reconstruction process does not require any algorithm or computations to recover the original secret. Hence the number of computations required is drastically reduced in visual cryptography schemes compared to traditional cryptography schemes. The two categories of visual secret sharing schemes are polynomial based secret image sharing scheme (PSIS) and visual cryptography scheme (VCS). Different VCS schemes in the secret image sharing have been proposed by researchers are random grid based scheme [2], Shamir-Lagrange technique [3, 4], Blakley geometry [5], Chinese Remainder Theorem [6], cellular automata [7], combinational theory [8], essential sharing [9], color image sharing [10], region incrementing [11], progressive visual cryptography [12] and tagged visual cryptography [13]. The poor visual quality is inevitable in classical secret image sharing schemes due to superimposing or stacking of share images. Logical OR operation is the underlying operation in these methods. The low contrast in the reconstructed secret image is observed in these schemes due to logical OR operation in the stacking of share images.


A new (k, n) secret image sharing scheme based on Boolean XOR and circular shift operations is introduced in this paper. The original secret image is reconstructed by using at least k or more share images with little computational complexity. The proposed scheme is extended the concept of Boolean XOR operations and has the advantages of no codebook design, no basis matrices requirement and no pixel expansion. Experimental results indicate that the security and contrast of the recovered secret image are improved in the proposed algorithm. The proposed scheme is applicable to both gray-scale and color secret images. This proposed scheme may further extended to multiple images

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