In this paper, we present an efficient and effective digital watermarking method for image tamper detection and recovery. Our method is efficient as it only uses simple operations such as parity check and comparison between average intensities. It is effective because the detection is based on a hierarchical structure so that the accuracy of tamper localization can be ensured. That is, if a tampered block is not detected in level-1 inspection, it will be detected in level-2 or level-3 inspection with a probability of nearly 1. Our method is also very storage effective, as it only requires a secret key and a public chaotic mixing algorithm to recover a tampered image. The experimental results demonstrate that the precision of tamper detection and localization is 99.6% and 100% after level-2 and level-3 inspection, respectively. The tamper recovery rate is better than 93% for a less than half tampered image. As compared with the method in Celik et al. [IEEE Trans. Image Process. 11(6) (2002) 585], our method is not only as simple and as effective in tamper detection and localization, it also provides with the capability of tamper recovery by trading off the quality of the watermarked images about 5 dB
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