Overload: Latency Attacks on Object Detection for Edge Devices

by   Erh-Chung Chen, et al.

Nowadays, the deployment of deep learning based applications on edge devices is an essential task owing to the increasing demands on intelligent services. However, the limited computing resources on edge nodes make the models vulnerable to attacks, such that the predictions made by models are unreliable. In this paper, we investigate latency attacks on deep learning applications. Unlike common adversarial attacks for misclassification, the goal of latency attacks is to increase the inference time, which may stop applications from responding to the requests within a reasonable time. This kind of attack is ubiquitous for various applications, and we use object detection to demonstrate how such kind of attacks work. We also design a framework named Overload to generate latency attacks at scale. Our method is based on a newly formulated optimization problem and a novel technique, called spatial attention, to increase the inference time of object detection. We have conducted experiments using YOLOv5 models on Nvidia NX. The experimental results show that with latency attacks, the inference time of a single image can be increased ten times longer in reference to the normal setting. Moreover, comparing to existing methods, our attacking method is simpler and more effective.


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