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A novel image encryption method in the frequency domain is proposed in this paper by introducing an optimized Hybrid Chaotic Map (HCM). In the initial step, the Discrete Wavelet Transform (DWT) transforms the image into the frequency domain. The developed image encryption in the frequency domain is composed of various steps, such as frequency domain conversion, key generation, image encryption using optimized HCM, and image decryption. The most important step in the chaotic-based image encryption is the generation of the key which is performed using the Secure Hash Algorithm (SHA-256) cryptographic Hash algorithm. Next, the image encryption is performed by incorporating Piece-Wise Linear Chaotic Map (PWLCM) and Two Dimensional Linear Chaotic Map (2DLCM) using HCM. Performance is enhanced by the parameter optimization when hybridizing the two chaotic maps. During the parameter optimization, the main aim is to maximize the information entropy. The HCM parameter tuning is done by the hybridized optimization algorithm known as the Deer Hunting-based Artificial Bee Colony algorithm (DH-ABC). Performance of the presented method is evaluated by correlating it with various state-of-the-art models.

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