Pixel value differencing (PVD) and Least Significant Bit (LSB) embedding are well known spatial domain steganographic techniques. PVD utilizes the sharp changes of intensities among adjacent pixels where a large number of secret bits could be embedded without any perceptible change. one-time pad (OTP) symmetric cryptography is known for its security. In the proposed scheme one or more LSB bits of the selected pixels are used depending on the pixel intensity difference with neighboring pixels in 2 × 2 image blocks of the cover image. Secret bits are encrypted using OTP with randomly generated pre-shared key. Such encrypted bits are completely random and resemble noise hence make the scheme robust against different statistical attacks. Comparative simulations with some well-known PVD-based techniques show good results in terms of visual imperceptibility and different quality metrics such as MSE, PSNR, SSIM etc. © 2019 IEEE.