Fast video encryption using the H.264 error propagation property for smart mobile devices

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In transmitting video data securely over Video Sensor Networks (VSNs), since mobile handheld devices have limited resources in terms of processor clock speed and battery size, it is necessary to develop an efficient method to encrypt video data to meet the increasing demand for secure connections. Selective encryption methods can reduce the amount of computation needed while satisfying high-level security requirements. This is achieved by selecting an important part of the video data and encrypting it. In this paper, to ensure format compliance and security, we propose a special encryption method for H.264, which encrypts only the DC/ACs of I-macroblocks and the motion vectors of P-macroblocks. In particular, the proposed new selective encryption method exploits the error propagation property in an H.264 decoder and improves the collective performance by analyzing the tradeoff between the visual security level and the processing speed compared to typical selective encryption methods (i.e., I-frame, P-frame encryption, and combined I-/P-frame encryption). Experimental results show that the proposed method can significantly reduce the encryption workload without any significant degradation of visual security.




Chung, Y., Lee, S., Jeon, T., & Park, D. (2015). Fast video encryption using the H.264 error propagation property for smart mobile devices. Sensors (Switzerland), 15(4), 7953–7968.

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