Securing Real-Time Video over IP Transmission

Mahmoud, N. E., Securing Real-Time Video over IP Transmission, , Giza, Cairo, Cairo University, 2009. copy at

Thesis Type:

Msc Thesis


The world has become a small village. The internet has played an important role in the communications revolution. It facilitates the management of institutions and organizations in many countries. Due to advances in using multimedia streaming (especially video), it becomes important to secure real time video transmission.
Securing video depends on many factors. The key two factors are: the complexity of encryption algorithm and time to break the encryption by hackers or competitors.
There are two main components for securing multimedia transmissions: security protocols and text encryption algorithms. Security protocols have been used to provide security and data integrity for communications over IP networks. Text encryption algorithms have been used for encrypting and decrypting video frames.
This thesis proposed a security scheme for streamed video frames over IP network. We used Datagram Transport Layer Security (DTLS) protocol. We applied the most four famous text encryption algorithms on video frames. These algorithms are Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), Data Encryption Standard (DES), Triple Data Encryption Standard (3DES) and Blowfish. They were used to determine the most suitable one to be selected to secure video frames. We compared our results with previous results on video frames encryption. We also modified the Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP) to adapt the proposed security scheme. RTP is used as a standardized packet format for delivering video over the IP networks. Our proposed scheme would be feasible for real time applications without any extra dedicated hardware.
After determining the most suitable encryption algorithm, we compared the proposed security scheme with normal video transmission scheme according to the following parameters: Frame Loss, Packet Loss and Data Rate. We evaluated the overheads of the proposed scheme. We also studied the impact of frame rate on securing real time video transmission over IP networks.
We used JAVA programming language to develop the proposed scheme. We found that the secured connection setup needed more time than normal one. The secured setup time is an offline process, so it does not affect the transmission of video frames in the real time. Using random generated keys for encryption process for every connection makes attacks harder to happen. The AES algorithm is considered the most suitable text encryption algorithm to be used in video, as it achieves less encryption time per frame. We found that the size of the overhead was very small compared to video original size.
Finally, we studied the impact of frame rate on securing real time video streaming. We determined the best frame rate needed to achieve fewer frame, packet loss and best quality on video.