Black-Box Dissector: Towards Erasing-Based Hard-Label Model Stealing Attack

Yixu Wang, Jie Li, Hong Liu, Yan Wang, Yongjian Wu, Feiyue Huang, Rongrong Ji ;


"Previous studies have verified that the functionality of black-box models can be stolen with full probability outputs. However, under the more practical hard-label setting, we observe that existing methods suffer from catastrophic performance degradation. We argue this is due to the lack of rich information in the probability prediction and the overfitting caused by hard labels. To this end, we propose a novel hard-label model stealing method termed black-box dissector, which consists of two erasing-based modules. One is a CAM-driven erasing strategy that is designed to increase the information capacity hidden in hard labels from the victim model. The other is a random-erasing-based self-knowledge distillation module that utilizes soft labels from the substitute model to mitigate overfitting. Extensive experiments on four widely-used datasets consistently demonstrate that our method outperforms state-of-the-art methods, with an improvement of at most 8.27%. We also validate the effectiveness and practical potential of our method on real-world APIs and defense methods. Furthermore, our method promotes other downstream tasks, i.e., transfer adversarial attacks."

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