Abstract: Deep neural networks (DNNs) typically require massive data to train on, which is a hurdle for numerous practical domains. Facing the data shortfall, one viable option is to acquire domain-specific training data from external uncensored sources, such as open webs or third-party data collectors. However, the quality of such acquired data is often not rigorously scrutinized, and one cannot easily rule out the risk of `"poisoned" examples being included in such unreliable datasets, resulting in unreliable trained models which pose potential risks to many high-stake applications. While existing options usually suffer from high computational costs or assumptions on clean data access, this paper attempts to detect backdoors for potential victim models with minimal prior knowledge. In particular, provided with a trained model, users are assumed to (1) have no prior knowledge of whether it is already poisoned, or what the target class/percentage of samples is poisoned, and (2) have no access to a clean sample set from the same training distribution, nor any trusted model trained on such clean data. To tackle this challenging scenario, we first observe the contrasting channel-level statistics between the backdoor trigger and clean image features, and consequently, how they can be differentiated by progressive channel shuffling. We then propose the randomized channel shuffling method for backdoor-targeted class detection, which requires only a few feed-forward passes. It thus incurs minimal overheads and demands no clean sample nor prior knowledge. We further explore a “full” clean data-free setting, where neither the target class detection nor the trigger recovery can access the clean data. Extensive experiments are conducted with three datasets (CIFAR-10, GTSRB, Tiny ImageNet), three architectures (AlexNet, ResNet-20, SENet-18), and three attacks (BadNets, clean label attack, and WaNet). Results consistently endorse the effectiveness of our proposed technique in backdoor model detection, with margins of 0.291 ～ 0.640 AUROC over the current state-of-the-arts. Codes are available at https://github.com/VITA-Group/Random-Shuffling-BackdoorDetect.
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