An unequal secure encryption scheme for H.264/AVC video compression standard

Yibo Fan*, Jidong Wang, Takeshi Ikenaga, Yukiyasu Tsunoo, Satoshi Goto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


H.264/AVC is the newest video coding standard. There are many new features in it which can be easily used for video encryption. In this paper, we propose a new scheme to do video encryption for H.264/AVC video compression standard. We define Unequal Secure Encryption (USE) as an approach that applies different encryption schemes (with different security strength) to different parts of compressed video data. This USE scheme includes two parts: video data classification and unequal secure video data encryption. Firstly, we classify the video data into two partitions: Important data partition and unimportant data partition. Important data partition has small size with high secure protection, while unimportant data partition has large size with low secure protection. Secondly, we use AES as a block cipher to encrypt the important data partition and use LEX as a stream cipher to encrypt the unimportant data partition. AES is the most widely used symmetric cryptography which can ensure high security. LEX is a new stream cipher which is based on AES and its computational cost is much lower than AES. In this way, our scheme can achieve both high security and low computational cost. Besides the USE scheme, we propose a low cost design of hybrid AES/LEX encryption module. Our experimental results show that the computational cost of the USE scheme is low (about 25% of naive encryption at Level 0 with VEA used). The hardware cost for hybrid AES/LEX module is 4678 Gates and the AES encryption throughput is about 50 Mbps.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-21
Number of pages10
JournalIEICE Transactions on Fundamentals of Electronics, Communications and Computer Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • AES
  • H.264/AVC
  • LEX
  • Selective encryption
  • Unequal secure encryption
  • Video encryption

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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