Ruoxi Jia


Recent studies show that the state-of-the-art deep neural networks are vulnerable to model inversion attacks, in which access to a model is abused to reconstruct private training data of any given target class. Existing attacks rely on having access to either the complete target model (whitebox) or the model's soft-labels (blackbox). However, no prior work has been done in the harder but more practical scenario, in which the attacker only has access to the model's predicted label, without a confidence measure. In this paper, we introduce an algorithm, Boundary-Repelling Model Inversion (BREP-MI), to invert private training data using only the target model's predicted labels. The key idea of our algorithm is to evaluate the model's predicted labels over a sphere and then estimate the direction to reach the target class's centroid. Using the example of face recognition, we show that the images reconstructed by BREP-MI successfully reproduce the semantics of the private training data for various datasets and target model architectures. We compare BREP-MI with the state-of-the-art whitebox and blackbox model inversion attacks and the results show that despite assuming less knowledge about the target model, BREP-MI outperforms the blackbox attack and achieves comparable results to the whitebox attack.


Ruoxi Jia

Publication Details

Date of publication:
March 3, 2022
Cornell University
Publication note:

Mostafa Kahla, Si Chen, Hoang Anh Just, Ruoxi Jia: Label-Only Model Inversion Attacks via Boundary Repulsion. CoRR abs/2203.01925 (2022