Backdoor Federated Learning by Poisoning Backdoor-Critical Layers

ICLR 2024 Conference Submission2689 Authors

Published: 16 Jan 2024, Last Modified: 27 Feb 2024ICLR 2024 posterEveryoneRevisionsBibTeX
Code Of Ethics: I acknowledge that I and all co-authors of this work have read and commit to adhering to the ICLR Code of Ethics.
Keywords: Federated Learning, Backdoor Attack
Submission Guidelines: I certify that this submission complies with the submission instructions as described on https://iclr.cc/Conferences/2024/AuthorGuide.
Abstract: Federated learning (FL) has been widely deployed to enable machine learning training on sensitive data across distributed devices. However, the decentralized learning paradigm and heterogeneity of FL further extend the attack surface for backdoor attacks. Existing FL attack and defense methodologies typically focus on the whole model. None of them recognizes the existence of backdoor-critical (BC) layers-a small subset of layers that dominate the model vulnerabilities. Attacking the BC layers achieves equivalent effects as attacking the whole model but at a far smaller chance of being detected by state-of-the-art (SOTA) defenses. This paper proposes a general in-situ approach that identifies and verifies BC layers from the perspective of attackers. Based on the identified BC layers, we carefully craft a new backdoor attack methodology that adaptively seeks a fundamental balance between attacking effects and stealthiness under various defense strategies. Extensive experiments show that our BC layer-aware backdoor attacks can successfully backdoor FL under seven SOTA defenses with only 10% malicious clients and outperform the latest backdoor attack methods.
Anonymous Url: I certify that there is no URL (e.g., github page) that could be used to find authors' identity.
Supplementary Material: zip
No Acknowledgement Section: I certify that there is no acknowledgement section in this submission for double blind review.
Primary Area: general machine learning (i.e., none of the above)
Submission Number: 2689
Loading