House of Cans: Covert Transmission of Internal Datasets via Capacity-Aware Neuron Steganography

Xudong Pan · Shengyao Zhang · Mi Zhang · Yifan Yan · Min Yang

Hall J #834

Keywords: [ AI security ] [ deep learning privacy ] [ data stealing ]

Abstract: In this paper, we present a capacity-aware neuron steganography scheme (i.e., Cans) to covertly transmit multiple private machine learning (ML) datasets via a scheduled-to-publish deep neural network (DNN) as the carrier model. Unlike existing steganography schemes which treat the DNN parameters as bit strings, \textit{Cans} for the first time exploits the learning capacity of the carrier model via a novel parameter sharing mechanism. Extensive evaluation shows, Cans is the first working scheme which can covertly transmit over $10000$ real-world data samples within a carrier model which has $220\times$ less parameters than the total size of the stolen data, and simultaneously transmit multiple heterogeneous datasets within a single carrier model, under a trivial distortion rate ($<10^{-5}$) and with almost no utility loss on the carrier model ($<1\%$). Besides, Cans implements by-design redundancy to be resilient against common post-processing techniques on the carrier model before the publishing.

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