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Machine Learning in context of Computer Security

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Machine learning (ML) has proven to be more fragile than previously thought, especially in adversarial settings. A capable adversary can cause ML systems to break at training, inference, and deployment stages. In this talk, I will cover my recent work on attacking and defending machine learning pipelines; I will describe how, otherwise correct, ML components end up being vulnerable because an attacker can break their underlying assumptions. First, with an example of attacks against text preprocessing, I will discuss why a holistic view of the ML deployment is a key requirement for ML security. Second, I will describe how an adversary can exploit the computer systems, underlying the ML pipeline, to develop availability attacks at both training and inference stages. At the training stage, I will present data ordering attacks that break stochastic optimisation routines. At the inference stage, I will describe sponge examples that soak up a large amount of energy and take a long time to process. Finally, building on my experience attacking ML systems, I will discuss developing robust defenses against ML attacks, which consider an end-to-end view of the ML pipeline.

This talk is part of the Computer Laboratory Security Seminar series.

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