MUD-PQFed: Towards Malicious User Detection in Privacy-Preserving Quantized Federated Learning

by   Hua Ma, et al.

Federated Learning (FL), a distributed machine learning paradigm, has been adapted to mitigate privacy concerns for customers. Despite their appeal, there are various inference attacks that can exploit shared-plaintext model updates to embed traces of customer private information, leading to serious privacy concerns. To alleviate this privacy issue, cryptographic techniques such as Secure Multi-Party Computation and Homomorphic Encryption have been used for privacy-preserving FL. However, such security issues in privacy-preserving FL are poorly elucidated and underexplored. This work is the first attempt to elucidate the triviality of performing model corruption attacks on privacy-preserving FL based on lightweight secret sharing. We consider scenarios in which model updates are quantized to reduce communication overhead in this case, where an adversary can simply provide local parameters outside the legal range to corrupt the model. We then propose the MUD-PQFed protocol, which can precisely detect malicious clients performing attacks and enforce fair penalties. By removing the contributions of detected malicious clients, the global model utility is preserved to be comparable to the baseline global model without the attack. Extensive experiments validate effectiveness in maintaining baseline accuracy and detecting malicious clients in a fine-grained manner


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