Defending against Data-Free Model Extraction by Distributionally Robust Defensive Training

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 36 (NeurIPS 2023) Main Conference Track

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Zhenyi Wang, Li Shen, Tongliang Liu, Tiehang Duan, Yanjun Zhu, Donglin Zhan, DAVID DOERMANN, Mingchen Gao


Data-Free Model Extraction (DFME) aims to clone a black-box model without knowing its original training data distribution, making it much easier for attackers to steal commercial models. Defense against DFME faces several challenges: (i) effectiveness; (ii) efficiency; (iii) no prior on the attacker's query data distribution and strategy. However, existing defense methods: (1) are highly computation and memory inefficient; or (2) need strong assumptions about attack data distribution; or (3) can only delay the attack or prove a model theft after the model stealing has happened. In this work, we propose a Memory and Computation efficient defense approach, named MeCo, to prevent DFME from happening while maintaining the model utility simultaneously by distributionally robust defensive training on the target victim model. Specifically, we randomize the input so that it: (1) causes a mismatch of the knowledge distillation loss for attackers; (2) disturbs the zeroth-order gradient estimation; (3) changes the label prediction for the attack query data. Therefore, the attacker can only extract misleading information from the black-box model. Extensive experiments on defending against both decision-based and score-based DFME demonstrate that MeCo can significantly reduce the effectiveness of existing DFME methods and substantially improve running efficiency.