TAD: Trigger Approximation based Black-box Trojan Detection for AI

Xinqiao Zhang, Huili Chen, Farinaz Koushanfar

An emerging amount of intelligent applications have been developed with the surge of Machine Learning (ML). Deep Neural Networks (DNNs) have demonstrated unprecedented performance across various fields such as medical diagnosis and autonomous driving. While DNNs are widely employed in security-sensitive fields, they are identified to be vulnerable to Neural Trojan (NT) attacks that are controlled and activated by the stealthy trigger. We call this vulnerable model adversarial artificial intelligence (AI). In this paper, we target to design a robust Trojan detection scheme that inspects whether a pre-trained AI model has been Trojaned before its deployment. Prior works are oblivious of the intrinsic property of trigger distribution and try to reconstruct the trigger pattern using simple heuristics, i.e., stimulating the given model to incorrect outputs. As a result, their detection time and effectiveness are limited. We leverage the observation that the pixel trigger typically features spatial dependency and propose TAD, the first trigger approximation based Trojan detection framework that enables fast and scalable search of the trigger in the input space. Furthermore, TAD can also detect Trojans embedded in the feature space where certain filter transformations are used to activate the Trojan. We perform extensive experiments to investigate the performance of the TAD across various datasets and ML models. Empirical results show that TAD achieves a ROC-AUC score of 0:91 on the public TrojAI dataset 1 and the average detection time per model is 7:1 minutes.

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