(2, 2) Threshold Robust Visual Secret Sharing Scheme for QR Code Based on Pad Codewords

  • Longdan Tan
  • Yuliang Lu
  • Xuehu YanEmail author
  • Lintao Liu
  • Jinrui Chen
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 895)


Quick response (QR) code has been used widely because of its advantages, such as, fast reading, error correction, and encoding multiple types of data. More and more researches on the combination of QR and visual cryptography have emerged, but there are few robust visual secret sharing scheme (VSS) for QR code. In this paper, we propose a robust (2, 2) threshold VSS for QR code based on pad codewords. We utilize the bug of no checking on the pad codewords when encoding the QR code, we encode initial shadows shared with secret image as pad codewords of cover QR code images to generate QR code shadows. In this way, the decoding results of shadow QR code images are identical with those of cover QR code images, no doubt arises when shadow images are exposed to the public channel. While a certain degree of damage and noise appearing in the shadow images, the secret can still be revealed, so the scheme is robust, which is important for practice. The experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness and robustness of our scheme.


Quick response (QR) code Visual secret sharing scheme (VSS) Pad codewords Robustness 



The authors would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments. This work is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Number: 61602491) and Key Program of National University of Defense Technology.


  1. 1.
    Information technology-automatic identification and data capture techniques-bar code symbology-QR code. ISO/IECGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Chen, T.-H., Tsao, K.-H.: Threshold visual secret sharing by random grids. J. Syst. Softw. 84(7), 1197–1208 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Cheng, Y., Fu, Z., Yu, B.: Improved visual secret sharing scheme for QR code applications. IEEE Trans. Inf. Forensics Secur. PP(99), 1 (2018)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Chow, Y.W., Susilo, W., Tonien, J., Vlahu-Gjorgievska, E., Yang, G.: Cooperative secret sharing using QR codes and symmetric keys. Symmetry 10(4), 95 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Chow, Y.W., Susilo, W., Yang, G., Phillips, J.G., Pranata, I., Barmawi, A.M.: Exploiting the error correction mechanism in QR codes for secret sharing. In: Australasian Conference on Information Security and Privacy (2016)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Huang, P.C., Chang, C.C., Li, Y.H.: Sudoku-based secret sharing approach with cheater prevention using QR code. Multimedia Tools Appl. (1), 1–20 (2018)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Lin, P.Y.: Distributed secret sharing approach with cheater prevention based on QR code. IEEE Trans. Industr. Inform. 12(1), 384–392 (2016)MathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Samretwit, D., Wakahara, T.: Measurement of reading characteristics of multiplexed image in QR code. In: International Conference on Intelligent NETWORKING and Collaborative Systems (2011)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Tkachenko, I., Puech, W., Destruel, C., Strauss, O., Gaudin, J.M., Guichard, C.: Two-level QR code for private message sharing and document authentication. IEEE Trans. Inf. Forensics Secur. 11(3), 571–583 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Tuyls, P., Hollmann, H.D., Van Lint, J.H., Tolhuizen, L.M.G.M.: XOR-based visual cryptography schemes. Des. Codes Crypt. 37, 169–186 (2005)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Wan, S., Lu, Y., Yan, X., Liu, L.: Visual secret sharing scheme with (k,n) threshold based on QR codes. In: International Conference on Mobile Ad-Hoc and Sensor Networks (2017)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Wang, G., Liu, F., Yan, W.Q.: 2D barcodes for visual cryptography. Multimedia Tools Appl. 75(2), 1223–1241 (2016). Scholar
  13. 13.
    Wu, X., Sun, W.: Random grid-based visual secret sharing with abilities of OR and XOR decryptions. J. Vis. Commun. Image Represent. 24(1), 48–62 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Yan, X., Liu, X., Yang, C.-N.: An enhanced threshold visual secret sharing based on random grids. J. Real-Time Image Proc. 14(1), 61–73 (2018). Scholar
  15. 15.
    Yan, X., Lu, Y.: Participants increasing for threshold random grids-based visual secret sharing. J. Real-Time Image Proc. 14(1), 13–24 (2018). Scholar
  16. 16.
    Yan, X., Wang, S., Niu, X.: Threshold construction from specific cases in visual cryptography without the pixel expansion. Sig. Proc. 105, 389–398 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National University of Defense TechnologyHefeiChina

Personalised recommendations