Is Vertical Logistic Regression Privacy-Preserving? A Comprehensive Privacy Analysis and Beyond

19 Jul 2022  ·  Yuzheng Hu, Tianle Cai, Jinyong Shan, Shange Tang, Chaochao Cai, Ethan Song, Bo Li, Dawn Song ·

We consider vertical logistic regression (VLR) trained with mini-batch gradient descent -- a setting which has attracted growing interest among industries and proven to be useful in a wide range of applications including finance and medical research. We provide a comprehensive and rigorous privacy analysis of VLR in a class of open-source Federated Learning frameworks, where the protocols might differ between one another, yet a procedure of obtaining local gradients is implicitly shared. We first consider the honest-but-curious threat model, in which the detailed implementation of protocol is neglected and only the shared procedure is assumed, which we abstract as an oracle. We find that even under this general setting, single-dimension feature and label can still be recovered from the other party under suitable constraints of batch size, thus demonstrating the potential vulnerability of all frameworks following the same philosophy. Then we look into a popular instantiation of the protocol based on Homomorphic Encryption (HE). We propose an active attack that significantly weaken the constraints on batch size in the previous analysis via generating and compressing auxiliary ciphertext. To address the privacy leakage within the HE-based protocol, we develop a simple-yet-effective countermeasure based on Differential Privacy (DP), and provide both utility and privacy guarantees for the updated algorithm. Finally, we empirically verify the effectiveness of our attack and defense on benchmark datasets. Altogether, our findings suggest that all vertical federated learning frameworks that solely depend on HE might contain severe privacy risks, and DP, which has already demonstrated its power in horizontal federated learning, can also play a crucial role in the vertical setting, especially when coupled with HE or secure multi-party computation (MPC) techniques.

PDF Abstract


  Add Datasets introduced or used in this paper

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.