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Progressive-Scale Boundary Blackbox Attack via Projective Gradient Estimation
Jiawei Zhang · Linyi Li · Huichen Li · Xiaolu Zhang · Shuang Yang · Bo Li

Thu Jul 22 07:45 PM -- 07:50 PM (PDT) @

Boundary based blackbox attack has been recognized as practical and effective, given that an attacker only needs to access the final model prediction. However, the query efficiency of it is in general high especially for high dimensional image data. In this paper, we show that such efficiency highly depends on the scale at which the attack is applied, and attacking at the optimal scale significantly improves the efficiency. In particular, we propose a theoretical framework to analyze and show three key characteristics to improve the query efficiency. We prove that there exists an optimal scale for projective gradient estimation. Our framework also explains the satisfactory performance achieved by existing boundary black-box attacks. Based on our theoretical framework, we propose Progressive-Scale enabled projective Boundary Attack (PSBA) to improve the query efficiency via progressive scaling techniques. In particular, we employ Progressive-GAN to optimize the scale of projections, which we call PSBA-PGAN. We evaluate our approach on both spatial and frequency scales. Extensive experiments on MNIST, CIFAR-10, CelebA, and ImageNet against different models including a real-world face recognition API show that PSBA-PGAN significantly outperforms existing baseline attacks in terms of query efficiency and attack success rate. We also observe relatively stable optimal scales for different models and datasets. The code is publicly available at https://github.com/AI-secure/PSBA.

Author Information

Jiawei Zhang (Zhejiang University)
Linyi Li (UIUC)
Huichen Li (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
Xiaolu Zhang (Ant Financial Services Group)
Shuang Yang (Ant Financial)
Bo Li (UIUC)
Bo Li

Dr. Bo Li is an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. She is the recipient of the IJCAI Computers and Thought Award, Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, AI’s 10 to Watch, NSF CAREER Award, MIT Technology Review TR-35 Award, Dean's Award for Excellence in Research, C.W. Gear Outstanding Junior Faculty Award, Intel Rising Star award, Symantec Research Labs Fellowship, Rising Star Award, Research Awards from Tech companies such as Amazon, Facebook, Intel, IBM, and eBay, and best paper awards at several top machine learning and security conferences. Her research focuses on both theoretical and practical aspects of trustworthy machine learning, which is at the intersection of machine learning, security, privacy, and game theory. She has designed several scalable frameworks for trustworthy machine learning and privacy-preserving data publishing. Her work has been featured by major publications and media outlets such as Nature, Wired, Fortune, and New York Times.

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