Workshop: New Frontiers in Adversarial Machine Learning

Adversarial Robustness and Cryptography

Somesh Jha


Over recent years, devising classification algorithms that are robust to adversarial perturbations has emerged as a challenging problem. In particular, deep neural nets (DNNs) seem to be susceptible to small imperceptible changes over test instances. However, the line of work in provable robustness, so far, has been focused on information theoretic robustness, ruling out even the existence of any adversarial examples. In this work, we study whether there is a hope to benefit from algorithmic nature of an attacker that searches for adversarial examples, and ask whether there is any learning task for which it is possible to design classifiers that are only robust against polynomial-time adversaries. Indeed, numerous cryptographic tasks (eg encryption of long messages) can only be secure against computationally bounded adversaries, and are indeed impossible for computationally unbounded attackers. Thus, it is natural to ask if the same strategy could help robust learning. We show that computational limitation of attackers can indeed be useful in robust learning by demonstrating the possibility of a classifier for some learning task for which computational and information theoretic adversaries of bounded perturbations have very different power. Namely, while computationally unbounded adversaries can attack successfully and find adversarial examples with small perturbation, polynomial time adversaries are unable to do so unless they can break standard cryptographic hardness assumptions.

Short Biography

Somesh Jha received his B.Tech from Indian Institute of Technology, sNew Delhi in Electrical Engineering. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University under the supervision of Prof. Edmund Clarke (a Turing award winner). Currently, Somesh Jha is the Lubar Professor in the Computer Sciences Department at the University of Wisconsin (Madison). His work focuses on analysis of security protocols, survivability analysis, intrusion detection, formal methods for security, and analyzing malicious code. Recently, he has focused his interested on privacy and adversarial ML (AML). Somesh Jha has published several articles in highly-refereed conferences and prominent journals. He has won numerous best-paper and distinguished-paper awards. Prof. Jha is the fellow of the ACM, IEEE and AAAS.

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