International Journal of Theoretical Physics

, Volume 57, Issue 5, pp 1516–1548 | Cite as

LSB-based Steganography Using Reflected Gray Code for Color Quantum Images

  • Panchi Li
  • Aiping Lu


At present, the classical least-significant-bit (LSB) based image steganography has been extended to quantum image processing. For the existing LSB-based quantum image steganography schemes, the embedding capacity is no more than 3 bits per pixel. Therefore, it is meaningful to study how to improve the embedding capacity of quantum image steganography. This work presents a novel LSB-based steganography using reflected Gray code for colored quantum images, and the embedding capacity of this scheme is up to 4 bits per pixel. In proposed scheme, the secret qubit sequence is considered as a sequence of 4-bit segments. For the four bits in each segment, the first bit is embedded in the second LSB of B channel of the cover image, and and the remaining three bits are embedded in LSB of RGB channels of each color pixel simultaneously using reflected-Gray code to determine the embedded bit from secret information. Following the transforming rule, the LSB of stego-image are not always same as the secret bits and the differences are up to almost 50%. Experimental results confirm that the proposed scheme shows good performance and outperforms the previous ones currently found in the literature in terms of embedding capacity.


Quantum image processing Quantum image steganography Gray code Least-significant-bit Embedding capacity 



The authors appreciate the kind comments and constructive suggestions of the anonymous reviewers. This work was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of Heilongjiang Province of China (Grant No. F2015021) and the PetroChina Innovation Foundation (Grant No. 2016D-5007-0302).


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Computer & Information TechnologyNortheast Petroleum UniversityDaqingChina

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