Where Did You Learn That From? Surprising Effectiveness of Membership Inference Attacks Against Temporally Correlated Data in Deep Reinforcement Learning

8 Sep 2021  ·  Maziar Gomrokchi, Susan Amin, Hossein Aboutalebi, Alexander Wong, Doina Precup ·

While significant research advances have been made in the field of deep reinforcement learning, a major challenge to widespread industrial adoption of deep reinforcement learning that has recently surfaced but little explored is the potential vulnerability to privacy breaches. In particular, there have been no concrete adversarial attack strategies in literature tailored for studying the vulnerability of deep reinforcement learning algorithms to membership inference attacks. To address this gap, we propose an adversarial attack framework tailored for testing the vulnerability of deep reinforcement learning algorithms to membership inference attacks. More specifically, we design a series of experiments to investigate the impact of temporal correlation, which naturally exists in reinforcement learning training data, on the probability of information leakage. Furthermore, we study the differences in the performance of \emph{collective} and \emph{individual} membership attacks against deep reinforcement learning algorithms. Experimental results show that the proposed adversarial attack framework is surprisingly effective at inferring the data used during deep reinforcement training with an accuracy exceeding $84\%$ in individual and $97\%$ in collective mode on two different control tasks in OpenAI Gym, which raises serious privacy concerns in the deployment of models resulting from deep reinforcement learning. Moreover, we show that the learning state of a reinforcement learning algorithm significantly influences the level of the privacy breach.

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