An Optimization Perspective on Realizing Backdoor Injection Attacks on Deep Neural Networks in Hardware

by   M. Caner Tol, et al.

State-of-the-art deep neural networks (DNNs) have been proven to be vulnerable to adversarial manipulation and backdoor attacks. Backdoored models deviate from expected behavior on inputs with predefined triggers while retaining performance on clean data. Recent works focus on software simulation of backdoor injection during the inference phase by modifying network weights, which we find often unrealistic in practice due to the hardware restriction such as bit allocation in memory. In contrast, in this work, we investigate the viability of backdoor injection attacks in real-life deployments of DNNs on hardware and address such practical issues in hardware implementation from a novel optimization perspective. We are motivated by the fact that the vulnerable memory locations are very rare, device-specific, and sparsely distributed. Consequently, we propose a novel network training algorithm based on constrained optimization for realistic backdoor injection attack in hardware. By modifying parameters uniformly across the convolutional and fully-connected layers as well as optimizing the trigger pattern together, we achieve the state-of-the-art attack performance with fewer bit flips. For instance, our method on a hardware-deployed ResNet-20 model trained on CIFAR-10 can achieve over 91 10 bits out of 2.2 million bits.


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