Transfer learning is a popular method for tuning pretrained (upstream) models for different downstream tasks using limited data and computational resources. We study how an adversary with control over an upstream model used in transfer learning can conduct property inference attacks on a victim's tuned downstream model. For example, to infer the presence of images of a specific individual in the downstream training set. We demonstrate attacks in which an adversary can manipulate the upstream model to conduct highly effective and specific property inference attacks (AUC score $> 0.9$), without incurring significant performance loss on the main task. The main idea of the manipulation is to make the upstream model generate activations (intermediate features) with different distributions for samples with and without a target property, thus enabling the adversary to distinguish easily between downstream models trained with and without training examples that have the target property. Our code is available at https://github.com/yulongt23/Transfer-Inference.
In a backdoor attack on a machine learning model, an adversary produces a model that performs well on normal inputs but outputs targeted misclassifications on inputs containing a small trigger pattern. Model compression is a widely-used approach for reducing the size of deep learning models without much accuracy loss, enabling resource-hungry models to be compressed for use on resource-constrained devices. In this paper, we study the risk that model compression could provide an opportunity for adversaries to inject stealthy backdoors. We design stealthy backdoor attacks such that the full-sized model released by adversaries appears to be free from backdoors (even when tested using state-of-the-art techniques), but when the model is compressed it exhibits highly effective backdoors. We show this can be done for two common model compression techniques -- model pruning and model quantization. Our findings demonstrate how an adversary may be able to hide a backdoor as a compression artifact, and show the importance of performing security tests on the models that will actually be deployed not their precompressed version.