Paper 2006/430

From Weak to Strong Watermarking

Nicholas Hopper, David Molnar, and David Wagner


The informal goal of a watermarking scheme is to ``mark'' a digital object, such as a picture or video, in such a way that it is difficult for an adversary to remove the mark without destroying the content of the object. Although there has been considerable work proposing and breaking watermarking schemes, there has been little attention given to the formal security goals of such a scheme. In this work, we provide a new complexity-theoretic definition of security for watermarking schemes. We describe some shortcomings of previous attempts at defining watermarking security, and show that security under our definition also implies security under previous definitions. We also propose two weaker security conditions that seem to capture the security goals of practice-oriented work on watermarking and show how schemes satisfying these weaker goals can be strengthened to satisfy our definition.

Available format(s)
Cryptographic protocols
Publication info
Published elsewhere. Accepted to Theory of Cryptography 2007. This is the full version.
Contact author(s)
dmolnar @ eecs berkeley edu
2006-11-19: received
Short URL
Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Nicholas Hopper and David Molnar and David Wagner},
      title = {From Weak to Strong Watermarking},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2006/430},
      year = {2006},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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