Towards query efficient black-box attacks: An input-free perspective

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Conference Proceeding
Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security, 2018, pp. 13 - 24
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© 2018 Association for Computing Machinery. Recent studies have highlighted that deep neural networks (DNNs) are vulnerable to adversarial attacks, even in a black-box scenario. However, most of the existing black-box attack algorithms need to make a huge amount of queries to perform attacks, which is not practical in the real world. We note one of the main reasons for the massive queries is that the adversarial example is required to be visually similar to the original image, but in many cases, how adversarial examples look like does not matter much. It inspires us to introduce a new attack called input-free attack, under which an adversary can choose an arbitrary image to start with and is allowed to add perceptible perturbations on it. Following this approach, we propose two techniques to significantly reduce the query complexity. First, we initialize an adversarial example with a gray color image on which every pixel has roughly the same importance for the target model. Then we shrink the dimension of the attack space by perturbing a small region and tiling it to cover the input image. To make our algorithm more effective, we stabilize a projected gradient ascent algorithm with momentum, and also propose a heuristic approach for region size selection. Through extensive experiments, we show that with only 1,701 queries on average, we can perturb a gray image to any target class of ImageNet with a 100% success rate on InceptionV3. Besides, our algorithm has successfully defeated two real-world systems, the Clarifai food detection API and the Baidu Animal Identification API.
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