Collaborating Authors

Benchmarking Adversarial Robustness Machine Learning

Deep neural networks are vulnerable to adversarial examples, which becomes one of the most important research problems in the development of deep learning. While a lot of efforts have been made in recent years, it is of great significance to perform correct and complete evaluations of the adversarial attack and defense algorithms. In this paper, we establish a comprehensive, rigorous, and coherent benchmark to evaluate adversarial robustness on image classification tasks. After briefly reviewing plenty of representative attack and defense methods, we perform large-scale experiments with two robustness curves as the fair-minded evaluation criteria to fully understand the performance of these methods. Based on the evaluation results, we draw several important findings and provide insights for future research.

GenAttack: Practical Black-box Attacks with Gradient-Free Optimization Artificial Intelligence

Deep neural networks (DNNs) are vulnerable to adversarial examples, even in the black-box case, where the attacker is limited to solely query access. Existing blackbox approaches to generating adversarial examples typically require a significant amount of queries, either for training a substitute network or estimating gradients from the output scores. We introduce GenAttack, a gradient-free optimization technique which uses genetic algorithms for synthesizing adversarial examples in the black-box setting. Our experiments on the MNIST, CIFAR-10, and ImageNet datasets show that GenAttack can successfully generate visually imperceptible adversarial examples against state-of-the-art image recognition models with orders of magnitude fewer queries than existing approaches. For example, in our CIFAR-10 experiments, GenAttack required roughly 2,568 times less queries than the current state-of-the-art black-box attack. Furthermore, we show that GenAttack can successfully attack both the state-of-the-art ImageNet defense, ensemble adversarial training, and non-differentiable, randomized input transformation defenses. GenAttack's success against ensemble adversarial training demonstrates that its query efficiency enables it to exploit the defense's weakness to direct black-box attacks. GenAttack's success against non-differentiable input transformations indicates that its gradient-free nature enables it to be applicable against defenses which perform gradient masking/obfuscation to confuse the attacker. Our results suggest that population-based optimization opens up a promising area of research into effective gradient-free black-box attacks.

Obfuscated Gradients Give a False Sense of Security: Circumventing Defenses to Adversarial Examples Artificial Intelligence

We identify obfuscated gradients, a kind of gradient masking, as a phenomenon that leads to a false sense of security in defenses against adversarial examples. While defenses that cause obfuscated gradients appear to defeat iterative optimization-based attacks, we find defenses relying on this effect can be circumvented. For each of the three types of obfuscated gradients we discover, we describe characteristic behaviors of defenses exhibiting this effect and develop attack techniques to overcome it. In a case study, examining non-certified white-box-secure defenses at ICLR 2018, we find obfuscated gradients are a common occurrence, with 7 of 8 defenses relying on obfuscated gradients. Our new attacks successfully circumvent 6 completely and 1 partially.

Adversarial Risk and the Dangers of Evaluating Against Weak Attacks Machine Learning

This paper investigates recently proposed approaches for defending against adversarial examples and evaluating adversarial robustness. The existence of adversarial examples in trained neural networks reflects the fact that expected risk alone does not capture the model's performance against worst-case inputs. We motivate the use of adversarial risk as an objective, although it cannot easily be computed exactly. We then frame commonly used attacks and evaluation metrics as defining a tractable surrogate objective to the true adversarial risk. This suggests that models may be obscured to adversaries, by optimizing this surrogate rather than the true adversarial risk. We demonstrate that this is a significant problem in practice by repurposing gradient-free optimization techniques into adversarial attacks, which we use to decrease the accuracy of several recently proposed defenses to near zero. Our hope is that our formulations and results will help researchers to develop more powerful defenses.

Towards Understanding Limitations of Pixel Discretization Against Adversarial Attacks Machine Learning

Wide adoption of artificial neural networks in various domains has led to an increasing interest in defending adversarial attacks against them. Preprocessing defense methods such as pixel discretization are particularly attractive in practice due to their simplicity, low computational overhead, and applicability to various systems. It is observed that such methods work well on simple datasets like MNIST, but break on more complicated ones like ImageNet under recently proposed strong white-box attacks. To understand the conditions for success and potentials for improvement, we study the pixel discretization defense method, including more sophisticated variants that take into account the properties of the dataset being discretized. Our results again show poor resistance against the strong attacks. We analyze our results in a theoretical framework and offer strong evidence that pixel discretization is unlikely to work on all but the simplest of the datasets. Furthermore, our arguments present insights why some other preprocessing defenses may be insecure.