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Proceedings Paper

Encryption and authentication for scalable multimedia: current state of the art and challenges
Author(s): Bin Benjamin Zhu; Mitchell D. Swanson; Shipeng Li
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Paper Abstract

Scalable coding is a technology that encodes a multimedia signal in a scalable manner where various representations can be extracted from a single codestream to fit a wide range of applications. Many new scalable coders such as JPEG 2000 and MPEG-4 FGS offer fine granularity scalability to provide near continuous optimal tradeoff between quality and rates in a large range. This fine granularity scalability poses great new challenges to the design of encryption and authentication systems for scalable media in Digital Rights Management (DRM) and other applications. It may be desirable or even mandatory to maintain a certain level of scalability in the encrypted or signed codestream so that no decryption or re-signing is needed when legitimate adaptations are applied. In other words, the encryption and authentication should be scalable, i.e., adaptation friendly. Otherwise secrets have to be shared with every intermediate stage along the content delivery system which performs adaptation manipulations. Sharing secrets with many parties would jeopardize the overall security of a system since the security depends on the weakest component of the system. In this paper, we first describe general requirements and desirable features for an encryption or authentication system for scalable media, esp. those not encountered with the non-scalable case. Then we present an overview of the current state of the art of technologies in scalable encryption and authentication. These technologies include full and selective encryption schemes that maintain the original or coarser granularity of scalability offered by an unencrypted scalable codestream, layered access control and block level authentication that reduce the fine granularity of scalability to a block level, among others. Finally, we summarize existing challenges and propose future research directions.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 October 2004
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 5601, Internet Multimedia Management Systems V, (25 October 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.571869
Show Author Affiliations
Bin Benjamin Zhu, Microsoft Research Asia (China)
Mitchell D. Swanson, General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems (United States)
Shipeng Li, Microsoft Research Asia (China)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5601:
Internet Multimedia Management Systems V
John R. Smith; Tong Zhang; Sethuraman Panchanathan, Editor(s)

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