- Chameleon: Increasing Label-Only Membership Leakage with Adaptive PoisoningHarsh Chaudhari, Giorgio Severi, Alina Oprea, and Jonathan UllmanOct 2023
The integration of machine learning (ML) in numerous critical applications introduces a range of privacy concerns for individuals who provide their datasets for model training. One such privacy risk is Membership Inference (MI), in which an attacker seeks to determine whether a particular data sample was included in the training dataset of a model. Current state-of-the-art MI attacks capitalize on access to the model’s predicted confidence scores to successfully perform membership inference, and employ data poisoning to further enhance their effectiveness. In this work, we focus on the less explored and more realistic label-only setting, where the model provides only the predicted label on a queried sample. We show that existing label-only MI attacks are ineffective at inferring membership in the low False Positive Rate (FPR) regime. To address this challenge, we propose a new attack Chameleon that leverages a novel adaptive data poisoning strategy and an efficient query selection method to achieve significantly more accurate membership inference than existing label-only attacks, especially at low FPRs.
- Privacy Side Channels in Machine Learning SystemsEdoardo Debenedetti, Giorgio Severi, Nicholas Carlini, Christopher A. Choquette-Choo, Matthew Jagielski, Milad Nasr, Eric Wallace, and Florian TramèrSep 2023
Most current approaches for protecting privacy in machine learning (ML) assume that models exist in a vacuum, when in reality, ML models are part of larger systems that include components for training data filtering, output monitoring, and more. In this work, we introduce privacy side channels: attacks that exploit these system-level components to extract private information at far higher rates than is otherwise possible for standalone models. We propose four categories of side channels that span the entire ML lifecycle (training data filtering, input preprocessing, output post-processing, and query filtering) and allow for either enhanced membership inference attacks or even novel threats such as extracting users’ test queries. For example, we show that deduplicating training data before applying differentially-private training creates a side-channel that completely invalidates any provable privacy guarantees. Moreover, we show that systems which block language models from regenerating training data can be exploited to allow exact reconstruction of private keys contained in the training set – even if the model did not memorize these keys. Taken together, our results demonstrate the need for a holistic, end-to-end privacy analysis of machine learning.
- Ask and You Shall Receive (a Graph Drawing): Testing ChatGPT’s Potential to Apply Graph Layout AlgorithmsSara Di Bartolomeo, Giorgio Severi, Victor Schetinger, and Cody DunneIn EuroVis Conference on Visualization, Sep 2023
Large language models (LLMs) have recently taken the world by storm. They can generate coherent text, hold meaningful conversations, and be taught concepts and basic sets of instructions—such as the steps of an algorithm. In this context, we are interested in exploring the application of LLMs to graph drawing algorithms by performing experiments on ChatGPT. These algorithms are used to improve the readability of graph visualizations. The probabilistic nature of LLMs presents challenges to implementing algorithms correctly, but we believe that LLMs’ ability to learn from vast amounts of data and apply complex operations may lead to interesting graph drawing results. For example, we could enable users with limited coding backgrounds to use simple natural language to create effective graph visualizations. Natural language specification would make data visualization more accessible and user-friendly for a wider range of users. Exploring LLMs’ capabilities for graph drawing can also help us better understand how to formulate complex algorithms for LLMs; a type of knowledge that could transfer to other areas of computer science. Overall, our goal is to shed light on the exciting possibilities of using LLMs for graph drawing while providing a balanced assessment of the challenges and opportunities they present. A free copy of this paper with all supplemental materials to reproduce our results is available at https://osf.io/n5rxd/.
- Poisoning Network Flow ClassifiersGiorgio Severi, Simona Boboila, Alina Oprea, John Holodnak, Kendra Kratkiewicz, and Jason MattererIn Proceedings of the 39th Annual Computer Security Applications Conference, Dec 2023
As machine learning (ML) classifiers increasingly oversee the automated monitoring of network traffic, studying their resilience against adversarial attacks becomes critical. This paper focuses on poisoning attacks, specifically backdoor attacks, against network traffic flow classifiers. We investigate the challenging scenario of clean-label poisoning where the adversary’s capabilities are constrained to tampering only with the training data — without the ability to arbitrarily modify the training labels or any other component of the training process. We describe a trigger crafting strategy that leverages model interpretability techniques to generate trigger patterns that are effective even at very low poisoning rates. Finally, we design novel strategies to generate stealthy triggers, including an approach based on generative Bayesian network models, with the goal of minimizing the conspicuousness of the trigger, and thus making detection of an ongoing poisoning campaign more challenging. Our findings provide significant insights into the feasibility of poisoning attacks on network traffic classifiers used in multiple scenarios, including detecting malicious communication and application classification.
- System and Method for Heterogeneous Transferred Learning for Enhanced Cybersecurity Threat DetectionScott Eric Coull, David Krisiloff, and Giorgio SeveriOct 2022
- Bad Citrus: Reducing Adversarial Costs with Model DistancesGiorgio Severi, Will Pearce, and Alina OpreaIn 2022 21st IEEE International Conference on Machine Learning and Applications (ICMLA), Dec 2022
Recent work by Jia et al. , showed the possibility of effectively computing pairwise model distances in weight space, using a model explanation technique known as LIME. This method requires query-only access to the two models under examination. We argue this insight can be leveraged by an adversary to reduce the net cost (number of queries) of launching an evasion campaign against a deployed model. We show that there is a strong negative correlation between the success rate of adversarial transfer and the distance between the victim model and the surrogate used to generate the evasive samples. Thus, we propose and evaluate a method to reduce adversarial costs by finding the closest surrogate model for adversarial transfer.
- Network-Level Adversaries in Federated LearningGiorgio Severi, Matthew Jagielski, Gökberk Yar, Yuxuan Wang, Alina Oprea, and Cristina Nita-RotaruIn 2022 IEEE Conference on Communications and Network Security (CNS), Oct 2022
Federated learning is a popular strategy for training models on distributed, sensitive data, while preserving data privacy. Prior work identified a range of security threats on federated learning protocols that poison the data or the model. However, federated learning is a networked system where the communication between clients and server plays a critical role for the learning task performance. We highlight how communication introduces another vulnerability surface in federated learning and study the impact of network-level adversaries on training federated learning models. We show that attackers dropping the network traffic from carefully selected clients can significantly decrease model accuracy on a target population. Moreover, we show that a coordinated poisoning campaign from a few clients can amplify the dropping attacks. Finally, we develop a server-side defense which mitigates the impact of our attacks by identifying and up-sampling clients likely to positively contribute towards target accuracy. We comprehensively evaluate our attacks and defenses on three datasets, assuming encrypted communication channels and attackers with partial visibility of the network.
- Subpopulation Data Poisoning AttacksMatthew Jagielski, Giorgio Severi, Niklas Pousette Harger, and Alina OpreaIn Proceedings of the 2021 ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security, Nov 2021
Machine learning systems are deployed in critical settings, but they might fail in unexpected ways, impacting the accuracy of their predictions. Poisoning attacks against machine learning induce adversarial modification of data used by a machine learning algorithm to selectively change its output when it is deployed. In this work, we introduce a novel data poisoning attack called a subpopulation attack, which is particularly relevant when datasets are large and diverse. We design a modular framework for subpopulation attacks, instantiate it with different building blocks, and show that the attacks are effective for a variety of datasets and machine learning models. We further optimize the attacks in continuous domains using influence functions and gradient optimization methods. Compared to existing backdoor poisoning attacks, subpopulation attacks have the advantage of inducing misclassification in naturally distributed data points at inference time, making the attacks extremely stealthy. We also show that our attack strategy can be used to improve upon existing targeted attacks. We prove that, under some assumptions, subpopulation attacks are impossible to defend against, and empirically demonstrate the limitations of existing defenses against our attacks, highlighting the difficulty of protecting machine learning against this threat.
- Explanation-Guided Backdoor Poisoning Attacks Against Malware ClassifiersGiorgio Severi, Jim Meyer, Scott Coull, and Alina OpreaIn 30th USENIX Security Symposium (USENIX Security 21), Nov 2021
Training pipelines for machine learning (ML) based malware classification often rely on crowdsourced threat feeds, exposing a natural attack injection point. In this paper, we study the susceptibility of feature-based ML malware classifiers to backdoor poisoning attacks, specifically focusing on challenging "clean label" attacks where attackers do not control the sample labeling process. We propose the use of techniques from explainable machine learning to guide the selection of relevant features and values to create effective backdoor triggers in a model-agnostic fashion. Using multiple reference datasets for malware classification, including Windows PE files, PDFs, and Android applications, we demonstrate effective attacks against a diverse set of machine learning models and evaluate the effect of various constraints imposed on the attacker. To demonstrate the feasibility of our backdoor attacks in practice, we create a watermarking utility for Windows PE files that preserves the binary’s functionality, and we leverage similar behavior-preserving alteration methodologies for Android and PDF files. Finally, we experiment with potential defensive strategies and show the difficulties of completely defending against these attacks, especially when the attacks blend in with the legitimate sample distribution.
- Malrec: Compact Full-Trace Malware Recording for Retrospective Deep AnalysisGiorgio Severi, Tim Leek, and Brendan Dolan-GavittIn Detection of Intrusions and Malware, and Vulnerability Assessment, Nov 2018
Malware sandbox systems have become a critical part of the Internet’s defensive infrastructure. These systems allow malware researchers to quickly understand a sample’s behavior and effect on a system. However, current systems face two limitations: first, for performance reasons, the amount of data they can collect is limited (typically to system call traces and memory snapshots). Second, they lack the ability to perform retrospective analysis—that is, to later extract features of the malware’s execution that were not considered relevant when the sample was originally executed. In this paper, we introduce a new malware sandbox system, Malrec, which uses whole-system deterministic record and replay to capture high-fidelity, whole-system traces of malware executions with low time and space overheads. We demonstrate the usefulness of this system by presenting a new dataset of 66,301 malware recordings collected over a two-year period, along with two preliminary analyses that would not be possible without full traces: an analysis of kernel mode malware and exploits, and a fine-grained malware family classification based on textual memory access contents. The Malrec system and dataset can help provide a standardized benchmark for evaluating the performance of future dynamic analyses.