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.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.