Practical Defences Against Model Inversion Attacks for Split Neural Networks

Tom Titcombe, Adam J. Hall, Pavlos Papadopoulos, Daniele Romanini

We describe a threat model under which a split network-based federated learning system is susceptible to a model inversion attack by a malicious computational server. We demonstrate that the attack can be successfully performed with limited knowledge of the data distribution by the attacker. We propose a simple additive noise method to defend against model inversion, finding that the method can significantly reduce attack efficacy at an acceptable accuracy trade-off on MNIST. Furthermore, we show that NoPeekNN, an existing defensive method, protects different information from exposure, suggesting that a combined defence is necessary to fully protect private user data.

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