The COVID-19 pandemic has imposed new challenges on the healthcare industry as hospital staff are exposed to a massive coronavirus load when registering new patients, taking temperatures, and providing care. The Ebola epidemic of 2014 is another example of a pandemic which a hospital in New York decided to use an audio-based communication system to protect nurses. This idea quickly turned into an Internet of Things (IoT) healthcare solution to help to communicate with patients remotely. However, it has grabbed the attention of criminals who use this medium as a cover for secret communication. The merging of signal processing and machine-learning techniques has led to the development of steganalyzers with very higher efficiencies, but since the statistical properties of normal audio files differ from those of purely speech audio files, the current steganalysis practices are not efficient enough for this type of content. This research considers the Percent of Equal Adjacent Samples (PEAS) feature for speech steganalysis. This feature efficiently discriminates the least significant bit stego speech samples from clean ones with a single analysis dimension. A sensitivity of 99.82% was achieved for the steganalysis of 50% embedded stego instances using a classifier based on the Gaussian membership function.
Keywords: Audio security; Audio signal processing; Data hiding; Healthcare data; IoT security.
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