Watermark Vaccine: Adversarial Attacks to Prevent Watermark Removal

Xinwei Liu, Jian Liu, Yang Bai, Jindong Gu, Tao Chen, Xiaojun Jia, Xiaochun Cao ;


"As a common security tool, visible watermarking has been widely applied to protect copyrights of digital images. However, recent works have shown that visible watermarks can be removed by DNNs without damaging their host images. Such watermark-removal techniques pose a great threat to the ownership of images. Inspired by the vulnerability of DNNs on adversarial perturbations, we propose a novel defence mechanism by adversarial machine learning for good. From the perspective of the adversary, blind watermark-removal networks can be posed as our target models; then we actually optimize an imperceptible adversarial perturbation on the host images to proactively attack against watermark-removal networks, dubbed Watermark Vaccine. Specifically, two types of vaccines are proposed. Disrupting Watermark Vaccine (DWV) induces to ruin the host image along with watermark after passing through watermark-removal networks. In contrast, Inerasable Watermark Vaccine (IWV) works in another fashion of trying to keep the watermark not removed and still noticeable. Extensive experiments demonstrate the effectiveness of our DWV/IWV in preventing watermark removal, especially on various watermark removal networks. The Code is released in https://github.com/thinwayliu/Watermark-Vaccine."

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