SCALE-UP: An Efficient Black-box Input-level Backdoor Detection via Analyzing Scaled Prediction Consistency

by   Junfeng Guo, et al.

Deep neural networks (DNNs) are vulnerable to backdoor attacks, where adversaries embed a hidden backdoor trigger during the training process for malicious prediction manipulation. These attacks pose great threats to the applications of DNNs under the real-world machine learning as a service (MLaaS) setting, where the deployed model is fully black-box while the users can only query and obtain its predictions. Currently, there are many existing defenses to reduce backdoor threats. However, almost all of them cannot be adopted in MLaaS scenarios since they require getting access to or even modifying the suspicious models. In this paper, we propose a simple yet effective black-box input-level backdoor detection, called SCALE-UP, which requires only the predicted labels to alleviate this problem. Specifically, we identify and filter malicious testing samples by analyzing their prediction consistency during the pixel-wise amplification process. Our defense is motivated by an intriguing observation (dubbed scaled prediction consistency) that the predictions of poisoned samples are significantly more consistent compared to those of benign ones when amplifying all pixel values. Besides, we also provide theoretical foundations to explain this phenomenon. Extensive experiments are conducted on benchmark datasets, verifying the effectiveness and efficiency of our defense and its resistance to potential adaptive attacks. Our codes are available at


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