DetectorGuard: Provably Securing Object Detectors against Localized Patch Hiding Attacks

Chong Xiang, Prateek Mittal

State-of-the-art object detectors are vulnerable to localized patch hiding attacks where an adversary introduces a small adversarial patch to make detectors miss the detection of salient objects. In this paper, we propose the first general framework for building provably robust detectors against the localized patch hiding attack called DetectorGuard. To start with, we propose a general approach for transferring the robustness from image classifiers to object detectors, which builds a bridge between robust image classification and robust object detection. We apply a provably robust image classifier to a sliding window over the image and aggregates robust window classifications at different locations for a robust object detection. Second, in order to mitigate the notorious trade-off between clean performance and provable robustness, we use a prediction pipeline in which we compare the outputs of a conventional detector and a robust detector for catching an ongoing attack. When no attack is detected, DetectorGuard outputs the precise bounding boxes predicted by the conventional detector to achieve a high clean performance; otherwise, DetectorGuard triggers an attack alert for security. Notably, our prediction strategy ensures that the robust detector incorrectly missing objects will not hurt the clean performance of DetectorGuard. Moreover, our approach allows us to formally prove the robustness of DetectorGuard on certified objects, i.e., it either detects the object or triggers an alert, against any patch hiding attacker. Our evaluation on the PASCAL VOC and MS COCO datasets shows that DetectorGuard has the almost same clean performance as conventional detectors, and more importantly, that DetectorGuard achieves the first provable robustness against localized patch hiding attacks.

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