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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 514652, 14 pages
Research Article

A Hybrid Digital-Signature and Zero-Watermarking Approach for Authentication and Protection of Sensitive Electronic Documents

1IT Research Center for the Holy Quran and Its Sciences (NOOR), Taibah University, Madinah 41411, Saudi Arabia
2College of Computer Science and Engineering (CCSE), Department of Computer Engineering, Taibah University, Madinah 41411, Saudi Arabia
3Department of Multimedia and Graphics, Faculty of Computer Systems & Software Engineering, Universiti Malaysia Pahang, Malaysia
4Academic Services, Department of Computer Science, Taibah University, Madinah, Saudi Arabia

Received 12 April 2014; Revised 17 June 2014; Accepted 29 June 2014; Published 28 August 2014

Academic Editor: Iftikhar Ahmad

Copyright © 2014 Omar Tayan et al. 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.


This paper addresses the problems and threats associated with verification of integrity, proof of authenticity, tamper detection, and copyright protection for digital-text content. Such issues were largely addressed in the literature for images, audio, and video, with only a few papers addressing the challenge of sensitive plain-text media under known constraints. Specifically, with text as the predominant online communication medium, it becomes crucial that techniques are deployed to protect such information. A number of digital-signature, hashing, and watermarking schemes have been proposed that essentially bind source data or embed invisible data in a cover media to achieve its goal. While many such complex schemes with resource redundancies are sufficient in offline and less-sensitive texts, this paper proposes a hybrid approach based on zero-watermarking and digital-signature-like manipulations for sensitive text documents in order to achieve content originality and integrity verification without physically modifying the cover text in anyway. The proposed algorithm was implemented and shown to be robust against undetected content modifications and is capable of confirming proof of originality whilst detecting and locating deliberate/nondeliberate tampering. Additionally, enhancements in resource utilisation and reduced redundancies were achieved in comparison to traditional encryption-based approaches. Finally, analysis and remarks are made about the current state of the art, and future research issues are discussed under the given constraints.