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The Incredible Software Banks and Law Enforcement Agencies Use to Detect Altered Photos

Published Jul 5th, 2015 12:15PM EDT
Altered Photo Detection

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For decades on end, long before Adobe Photoshop became a household name, governments across the world have manipulated photographs to serve political ends. Joseph Stalin, for instance, famously altered photographs as to remove individuals who fell out of favor with the regime.

These days, image editing tools are not only abundant, but they’re incredibly easy to use. As a result, it’s become increasingly difficult to differentiate an authentic photo from one that’s been doctored.

Coming to the rescue is a Czech startup with an interesting piece of software that can purportedly detect when photos have been manipulated with astounding accuracy.

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Called Verifeyed, the software is already being employed by a variety of businesses to ensure that images and scanned documents haven’t been altered. The company notes that its software continues to be used by Insurance Companies to sniff out fraudulent claims, along with Law Enforcement agencies and Banks.

Work on Verifeyed began back in 2004, with Business Insider noting that the current incarnation of the software utilizes machine learning to discern when photos have been run through image editing software.

Traditional digital cameras have several components: an optical system, then a photo sensor, and finally a storage system. Each component has a unique “fingerprint.” This “fingerprint” can be unique to a camera or camera model, and it can be corrupted when an image has been tampered with. One of the ways Verifeyed spots fake images is by finding out how many times an image has been compressed into a JPEG file format for storage.

In short, Verifeyed’s algorithm is extremely capable at detecting even subtle changes made to an image. Impressively, the false-positive rate when using Verifeyed software is just .01%.

Make sure to hit the source link below for a full rundown of how Verifeyed works.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.