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Towards Reliable and Efficient Backdoor Trigger Inversion via Decoupling Benign Features

Xiong Xu · Kunzhe Huang · Yiming Li · Zhan Qin · Kui Ren

Halle B #228
[ ]
Tue 7 May 7:30 a.m. PDT — 9:30 a.m. PDT

Abstract: Recent studies revealed that using third-party models may lead to backdoor threats, where adversaries can maliciously manipulate model predictions based on backdoors implanted during model training. Arguably, backdoor trigger inversion (BTI), which generates trigger patterns of given benign samples for a backdoored model, is the most critical module for backdoor defenses used in these scenarios. With BTI, defenders can remove backdoors by fine-tuning based on generated poisoned samples with ground-truth labels or deactivate backdoors by removing trigger patterns during the inference process. However, we find that existing BTI methods suffer from relatively poor performance, $i.e.$, their generated triggers are significantly different from the ones used by the adversaries even in the feature space. We argue that it is mostly because existing methods require to 'extract' backdoor features at first, while this task is very difficult since defenders have no information ($e.g.$, trigger pattern or target label) about poisoned samples. In this paper, we explore BTI from another perspective where we decouple benign features instead of decoupling backdoor features directly. Specifically, our method consists of two main steps, including \textbf{(1)} decoupling benign features and \textbf{(2)} trigger inversion by minimizing the differences between benign samples and their generated poisoned version in decoupled benign features while maximizing the differences in remaining backdoor features. In particular, our method is more efficient since it doesn't need to `scan' all classes to speculate the target label, as required by existing BTI. We also exploit our BTI module to further design backdoor-removal and pre-processing-based defenses. Extensive experiments on benchmark datasets demonstrate that our defenses can reach state-of-the-art performances.

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