How simulated attacks on the forensic watermarks of OTT video content aid in the fight against piracy

With the growth of 4K and UHD OTT and VoD content, forensic watermarking has become a critical tool. It provides content creators and distributors with a powerful security suite capable of mitigating a wide variety of piracy methods, including simulated attacks on watermarks.

While DRM protected content does provide some amount of protection, watermarking technology enhances its robustness. The invisible watermarks included in random locations across the video frames of the content can be used to trace the copyright of pirated content and assist in source identification. Without introducing additional performance latencies, the watermark is embedded on top of the DRM-protected material in the SDK. The SDK provides an interactive interface for the transcoding operation, which decodes each video frame contained inside the media source. Each frame provided into the SDK generates watermarked frames with the identical set of video width, height, and pixel ratio parameters. The transcoder then compresses and encodes these watermarked frames for dissemination on the output media.

The video watermarking technology is effective regardless of the codec format used and is capable of watermarking in both online and offline modes. A watermarking technique that is efficient does not introduce apparent performance lags and preserves the integrity of the original video stream by producing the same number of output video frames as the original. Additionally, it is sufficiently resilient to withstand many forms of simulated manipulation attempts aimed at erasing the watermark.

The robustness of a watermark is measured by its behaviour during a series of simulated attacks and the point at which it becomes unrecoverable.

The simulated attacks employ a variety of transformations, including geometric deformations, recompression, merge, and trim operations. These techniques include upscaling and downscaling video frames, horizontal and vertical flips, various degrees of rotation, tampering with framerates, HDMI capture, screencasting, device-based video capture, black bar insertion, and bit rate reduction, among others.

The watermark’s recoverability against these simulated attacks should be fast enough to make it a perfect choice for withering attacks designed to capture and distribute premium content illegally.

Thus, testers employ a broad range of simulated attack types on video assets of varied degrees of intensity to determine the video watermark’s strength and commercial feasibility in the face of real-time pirate attacks.

The watermark prevents pirates from tampering with the host video, making it useless for piracy and illegal distribution of the video. In the event of a leak, distributors can identify the source and take legal action because the watermark embeds directly into the consumer sessions. It’s also impossible for an attacker to alter the payload or create a fake watermark because of the new technology.

Consequently, a compromise must be made in order to create the ideal watermark, depending on the application’s specifications.. Most applications, for example, prefer a low-energy watermark signal to keep distortions undetectable. As a result, it is necessary to employ watermarks that are strong enough to withstand transmission in high-degrading environments The integrity of digital data can, however, be ensured by relying on the vulnerability of a watermark that can be easily removed.