Cybersecurity Education, Research & Outreach Center
Exploring Architectural Vulnerability of Deep Learning Architectures against Hardware Intrinsic (Lead- Hasan)
Deep learning architectures (DLA) have shown impressive performance in computer vision, natural language processing, autonomous vehicles, smart manufacturing, etc. Many DLA make use of cloud computing to achieve classification due to the high computation and memory requirements. Privacy and latency concerns resulting from cloud computing has inspired the deployment of DLA on embedded hardware accelerators. To achieve short time-to-market and have access to global experts, state-of-the-art techniques of DLA deployment on hardware accelerators are outsourced and often to untrusted 3rd parties. This raises security concerns as hardware intrinsic attacks can be inserted into such hardware accelerators for DLA. Existing hardware intrinsic attacks highlighted in literature have few limitations, such as they require full knowledge of DLA and don’t offer any qualitative means to make sure the triggering will occur. This research investigates hardware intrinsic attacks that are both stealthier and practical in terms of implementation, leveraging statistical properties of layer-by-layer output of DLA. This research also focuses on potential threat models when DLA is distributed in an Edge Intelligence environment for AIoT applications. Preliminary results show that such attacks can be very stealthy and requires minimal resources. Moreover, this research will propose defense mechanism against such vulnerabilities by employing security checkpoints via a trusted network node acting as a defender.