Closing the Gap: Achieving Better Accuracy-Robustness Tradeoffs Against Query-Based Attacks


Conference / Medium


Ghassan Karame Giorgia Azzurra Marson Sebastien Andreina Pascal Zimmer

Research Hub

Research Hub C: Sichere Systeme

Research Challenges

RC 9: Intelligent Security Systems


Although promising, existing defenses against query-based attacks share a common limitation: they offer increased robustness against attacks at the price of a considerable accuracy drop on clean samples. In this work, we show how to efficiently establish, at test-time, a solid tradeoff between robustness and accuracy when mitigating query-based attacks. Given that these attacks necessarily explore low-confidence regions, our insight is that activating dedicated defenses, such as RND (Qin et al., NeuRIPS 2021) and Random Image Transformations (Xie et al., ICLR 2018), only for lowconfidence inputs is sufficient to prevent them. Our approach is independent of training and supported by theory. We verify the effectiveness of our approach for various existing defenses by conducting extensive experiments on CIFAR-10, CIFAR-100, and ImageNet. Our results confirm that our proposal can indeed enhance these defenses by providing better tradeoffs between robustness and accuracy when compared to state-of-the-art approaches while being completely training-free.


Machine Learning