Abstract: Almost all current adversarial attacks of CNN classifiers rely on information derived from the output layer of the network. This work presents a new adversarial attack based on the modeling and exploitation of class-wise and layer-wise deep feature distributions. We achieve state-of-the-art targeted blackbox transfer-based attack results for undefended ImageNet models. Further, we place a priority on explainability and interpretability of the attacking process. Our methodology affords an analysis of how adversarial attacks change the intermediate feature distributions of CNNs, as well as a measure of layer-wise and class-wise feature distributional separability/entanglement. We also conceptualize a transition from task/data-specific to model-specific features within a CNN architecture that directly impacts the transferability of adversarial examples.

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