Reconstructing Individual Data Points in Federated Learning Hardened with Differential Privacy and Secure Aggregation

Federated learning (FL) is a framework for users to jointly train a machine learning model. FL is promoted as a privacy-enhancing technology (PET) that provides data minimization: data never "leaves" personal devices and users share only model updates with a server (e.g., a company) coordinating the distributed training. While prior work showed that in vanilla FL a malicious server can extract users' private data from the model updates, in this work we take it further and demonstrate that a malicious server can reconstruct user data even in hardened versions of the protocol. More precisely, we propose an attack against FL protected with distributed differential privacy (DDP) and secure aggregation (SA). Our attack method is based on the introduction of sybil devices that deviate from the protocol to expose individual users' data for reconstruction by the server. The underlying root cause for the vulnerability to our attack is a power imbalance: the server orchestrates the whole protocol and users are given little guarantees about the selection of other users participating in the protocol. Moving forward, we discuss requirements for privacy guarantees in FL. We conclude that users should only participate in the protocol when they trust the server or they apply local primitives such as local DP, shifting power away from the server. Yet, the latter approaches come at significant overhead in terms of performance degradation of the trained model, making them less likely to be deployed in practice.

PDF Abstract
No code implementations yet. Submit your code now

Results from the Paper

  Submit results from this paper to get state-of-the-art GitHub badges and help the community compare results to other papers.


No methods listed for this paper. Add relevant methods here