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VLATTACK: Multimodal Adversarial Attacks on Vision-Language Tasks via Pre-trained Models

Ziyi Yin · Muchao Ye · Tianrong Zhang · Tianyu Du · Tianyu Du · Jinguo Zhu · Han Liu · Jinghui Chen · Ting Wang · Fenglong Ma

Great Hall & Hall B1+B2 (level 1) #1601


Vision-Language (VL) pre-trained models have shown their superiority on many multimodal tasks. However, the adversarial robustness of such models has not been fully explored. Existing approaches mainly focus on exploring the adversarial robustness under the white-box setting, which is unrealistic. In this paper, we aim to investigate a new yet practical task to craft image and text perturbations using pre-trained VL models to attack black-box fine-tuned models on different downstream tasks. Towards this end, we propose VLATTACK to generate adversarial samples by fusing perturbations of images and texts from both single-modal and multi-modal levels. At the single-modal level, we propose a new block-wise similarity attack (BSA) strategy to learn image perturbations for disrupting universal representations. Besides, we adopt an existing text attack strategy to generate text perturbations independent of the image-modal attack. At the multi-modal level, we design a novel iterative cross-search attack (ICSA) method to update adversarial image-text pairs periodically, starting with the outputs from the single-modal level. We conduct extensive experiments to attack three widely-used VL pretrained models for six tasks on eight datasets. Experimental results show that the proposed VLATTACK framework achieves the highest attack success rates on all tasks compared with state-of-the-art baselines, which reveals a significant blind spot in the deployment of pre-trained VL models.

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