Exploiting QR code error correction for digital image watermarking

Yang Wai Chow, Willy Susilo, Joonsang Baek, Jongkil Kim, Wei Zong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The growing use of online digital media has made the task of protecting copyright and intellectual property increasingly more challenging. Data hiding techniques, such as digital watermarking, can be used to embed data within a signal for various purposes, e.g., for digital rights management. To achieve this, there are a number of desirable properties for digital watermarking, namely, impercepti-bility, capacity, robustness and security. The research presented in this paper investigates a QR code based watermarking technique for digital images. The utilization of QR codes for this purpose has a number of advantages due to the QR code structure’s inherent properties. As such, the aim of this work is to exploit the inbuilt error correction mechanism and to capitalize on the high data capacity of the QR code structure. This paper examines the proposed QR code watermarking technique and demonstrates its robustness and security against common digital image attacks that may be carried out by an adversary on the watermarked image.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-140
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Wireless Mobile Networks, Ubiquitous Computing, and Dependable Applications
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Willy Susilo obtained his Bachelor Degree in Computer Science from Universitas Surabaya, Indonesia with a “Summa Cum Laude” predicate. He received his Master and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from the University of Wollongong (UOW). His main research interest include cryptography and cyber security. He received a prestigious ARC Future Fellowship from the Australian Research Council. He also received the UOW Researcher of the Year 2016 due to his research excellence. He is the Director of Institute of Cybersecurity and Cryptology, UOW.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, Innovative Information Science and Technology Research Group. All rights reserved.


  • Data hiding
  • Error correction
  • QR code
  • Watermarking


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