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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2013, Article ID 796726, 16 pages
Research Article

A Fragile Zero Watermarking Scheme to Detect and Characterize Malicious Modifications in Database Relations

1Department of Computing & Technology, Iqra University, Islamabad 44000, Pakistan
2Faculty of Computer Science & IT, King Faisal University, Ahsaa 31982, Saudi Arabia

Received 19 February 2013; Accepted 10 April 2013

Academic Editors: P. Melin and Y. Zhu

Copyright © 2013 Aihab Khan and Syed Afaq Husain. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We put forward a fragile zero watermarking scheme to detect and characterize malicious modifications made to a database relation. Most of the existing watermarking schemes for relational databases introduce intentional errors or permanent distortions as marks into the database original content. These distortions inevitably degrade the data quality and data usability as the integrity of a relational database is violated. Moreover, these fragile schemes can detect malicious data modifications but do not characterize the tempering attack, that is, the nature of tempering. The proposed fragile scheme is based on zero watermarking approach to detect malicious modifications made to a database relation. In zero watermarking, the watermark is generated (constructed) from the contents of the original data rather than introduction of permanent distortions as marks into the data. As a result, the proposed scheme is distortion-free; thus, it also resolves the inherent conflict between security and imperceptibility. The proposed scheme also characterizes the malicious data modifications to quantify the nature of tempering attacks. Experimental results show that even minor malicious modifications made to a database relation can be detected and characterized successfully.