Skip to yearly menu bar Skip to main content


Demystifying Limited Adversarial Transferability in Automatic Speech Recognition Systems

Hadi Abdullah · Aditya Karlekar · Vincent Bindschaedler · Patrick Traynor

Keywords: [ Transferability ] [ adversarial machine learning ]


The targeted transferability of adversarial samples enables attackers to exploit black-box models in the real-world. The most popular method to produce these adversarial samples is optimization attacks, which have been shown to achieve a high level of transferability in some domains. However, recent research has demonstrated that these attack samples fail to transfer when applied to Automatic Speech Recognition Systems (ASRs). In this paper, we investigate factors preventing this transferability via exhaustive experimentation. To do so, we perform an ablation study on each stage of the ASR pipeline. We discover and quantify six factors (i.e., input type, MFCC, RNN, output type, and vocabulary and sequence sizes) that impact the targeted transferability of optimization attacks against ASRs. Future research can leverage our findings to build ASRs that are more robust to other transferable attack types (e.g., signal processing attacks), or to modify architectures in other domains to reduce their exposure to targeted transferability of optimization attacks.

Chat is not available.