ActiveThief: Model Extraction Using Active Learning and Unannotated Public Data


  • Soham Pal Indian Institute of Science
  • Yash Gupta Indian Institute of Science
  • Aditya Shukla Indian Institute of Science
  • Aditya Kanade Indian Institute of Science
  • Shirish Shevade Indian Institute of Science
  • Vinod Ganapathy Indian Institute of Science



Machine learning models are increasingly being deployed in practice. Machine Learning as a Service (MLaaS) providers expose such models to queries by third-party developers through application programming interfaces (APIs). Prior work has developed model extraction attacks, in which an attacker extracts an approximation of an MLaaS model by making black-box queries to it. We design ActiveThief – a model extraction framework for deep neural networks that makes use of active learning techniques and unannotated public datasets to perform model extraction. It does not expect strong domain knowledge or access to annotated data on the part of the attacker. We demonstrate that (1) it is possible to use ActiveThief to extract deep classifiers trained on a variety of datasets from image and text domains, while querying the model with as few as 10-30% of samples from public datasets, (2) the resulting model exhibits a higher transferability success rate of adversarial examples than prior work, and (3) the attack evades detection by the state-of-the-art model extraction detection method, PRADA.




How to Cite

Pal, S., Gupta, Y., Shukla, A., Kanade, A., Shevade, S., & Ganapathy, V. (2020). ActiveThief: Model Extraction Using Active Learning and Unannotated Public Data. Proceedings of the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 34(01), 865-872.



AAAI Technical Track: Applications