Information Hiding Using CAVLC: Misconceptions and a Detection Strategy

  • Weike YouEmail author
  • Yun Cao
  • Xianfeng Zhao
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10431)


As the most commonly used entropy coding method of H.264, CAVLC (context-based adaptive variable length coding) has been widely utilized for information hiding. Various information hiding methods directly manipulate CAVLC coefficients, which are reported to be of high payload and low computational complexity. However, things are quite different in real applications. This paper addresses two misconceptions about them: (1) The CAVLC coefficients can be modified without re-encoding process. In fact, direct modifications of the number of non-zero coefficients will change the corresponding code tables for adjacent blocks and result in decoding errors. (2) CAVLC codewords can be indiscriminately substituted. Actually, it will cause serious distortion drifts. In addition, considering steganographic security, a detection strategy is proposed based on statistical analysis of some CAVLC-based methods.


Information hiding Steganalysis Entropy coding CAVLC Trailing coefficients 



This work was supported by the NSFC under U1636102 and U1536105, and National Key Technology R&D Program under 2014BAH41B01, 2016YFB0801003 and 2016QY15Z2500.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Information Security, Institute of Information EngineeringChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.School of Cyber SecurityUniversity of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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