BadNL: Backdoor Attacks Against NLP Models [article]

Xiaoyi Chen, Ahmed Salem, Michael Backes, Shiqing Ma, Yang Zhang
2020 arXiv   pre-print
Machine learning (ML) has progressed rapidly during the past decade and ML models have been deployed in various real-world applications. Meanwhile, machine learning models have been shown to be vulnerable to various security and privacy attacks. One attack that has attracted a great deal of attention recently is the backdoor attack. Specifically, the adversary poisons the target model training set, to mislead any input with an added secret trigger to a target class, while keeping the accuracy
more » ... r original inputs unchanged. Previous backdoor attacks mainly focus on computer vision tasks. In this paper, we present the first systematic investigation of the backdoor attack against models designed for natural language processing (NLP) tasks. Specifically, we propose three methods to construct triggers in the NLP setting, including Char-level, Word-level, and Sentence-level triggers. Our Attacks achieve an almost perfect success rate without jeopardizing the original model utility. For instance, using the word-level triggers, our backdoor attack achieves 100% backdoor accuracy with only a drop of 0.18%, 1.26%, and 0.19% in the models utility, for the IMDB, Amazon, and Stanford Sentiment Treebank datasets, respectively.
arXiv:2006.01043v1 fatcat:a627azfbfzam5ck4sx6gfyye34