Headless Horseman: Adversarial Attacks on Transfer Learning Models

Transfer learning facilitates the training of task-specific classifiers using pre-trained models as feature extractors. We present a family of transferable adversarial attacks against such classifiers, generated without access to the classification head; we call these \emph{headless attacks}. We first demonstrate successful transfer attacks against a victim network using \textit{only} its feature extractor. This motivates the introduction of a label-blind adversarial attack. This transfer attack method does not require any information about the class-label space of the victim. Our attack lowers the accuracy of a ResNet18 trained on CIFAR10 by over 40\%.

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