Annual Computer Security Applications Conference (ACSAC) 2022

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NeuGuard: Lightweight Neuron-Guided Defense against Membership Inference Attacks

Membership inference attacks (MIAs) against machine learning models lead to serious privacy risks for the training dataset used in the model training. The state-of-the-art defenses against MIAs often suffer from poor privacy-utility balance and defense generality, as well as high training or inference overhead. To overcome these limitations, in this paper, we propose a novel, lightweight and effective Neuron-Guided Defense method named NeuGuard against MIAs. Unlike existing solutions which either regularize all model parameters in training or noise model output per input in real-time inference, NeuGuard aims to wisely guide the model output of training set and testing set to have close distributions through a fine-grained neuron regularization. That is, restricting the activation of output neurons and inner neurons in each layer simultaneously by using our developed class-wise variance minimization and layer-wise balanced output control. We evaluate NeuGuard and compare it with state-of-the-art defenses against two neural network based MIAs, five strongest metric based MIAs including the newly proposed label-only MIA on three benchmark datasets. Extensive experimental results show that NeuGuard outperforms the state-of-the-art defenses by offering much improved utility-privacy trade-off, generality, and overhead.

Nuo Xu
Lehigh University

Binghui Wang
Illinois Institute of Technology

Ran Ran
Lehigh University

Wujie Wen
Lehigh University

Parv Venkitasubramaniam
Lehigh University

Paper (ACM DL)



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