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A scheme that integrates digital signature and data hiding to provide hi-tech authentication for palette images is proposed in this paper. The scheme extracts digital signature from the original palette image and embeds it back into the same palette image, avoiding additional signature file. Digital signature generation is employed using elliptic curve based public key cryptosystem. The performance of elliptic curve based public key cryptosystems is mainly appointed by the efficiency of the underlying finite field arithmetic. Instead of directly sending an original palette image to recipients, only the embedded copy is sent associated with signed digital signature. Experimental results show that security is achieved without sacrificing the image quality.
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