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  1. With the proliferation of autonomous safety-critical cyber-physical systems (CPS) in our daily life, their security is becoming ever more important. Remote attestation is a powerful mechanism to enable remote verification of system integrity. While recent developments have made it possible to efficiently attest IoT operations, autonomous systems that are built on top of real-time cyber-physical control loops and execute missions independently present new unique challenges. In this paper, we formulate a new security property, Realtime Mission Execution Integrity (RMEI) to provide proof of correct and timely execution of the missions. While it is an attractive property, measuring it can incur prohibitive overhead for the real-time autonomous system. To tackle this challenge, we propose policy-based attestation of compartments to enable a trade-off between the level of details in measurement and runtime overhead. To further minimize the impact on real-time responsiveness, multiple techniques were developed to improve the performance, including customized software instrumentation and timing recovery through re-execution. We implemented a prototype of ARI and evaluated its performance on five CPS platforms. A user study involving 21 developers with different skill sets was conducted to understand the usability of our solution. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 9, 2024
  2. Tiny machine learning (TinyML) is an essential component of emerging smart microcontrollers (MCUs). However, the protection of the intellectual property (IP) of the model is an increasing concern due to the lack of desktop/server-grade resources on these power-constrained devices. In this paper, we propose STML, a system and algorithm co-design to Secure IP of TinyML on MCUs with ARM TrustZone. Our design jointly optimizes memory utilization and latency while ensuring the security and accuracy of emerging models. We implemented a prototype and benchmarked with 7 models, demonstrating STML reduces 40% of model protection runtime overhead on average. 
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  3. The field of text-to-image generation has made remarkable strides in creating high-fidelity and photorealistic images. As this technology gains popularity, there is a growing concern about its potential security risks. However, there has been limited exploration into the robustness of these models from an adversarial perspective. Existing research has primarily focused on untargeted settings, and lacks holistic consideration for reliability (attack success rate) and stealthiness (imperceptibility). In this paper, we propose RIATIG, a reliable and imperceptible adversarial attack against text-to-image models via inconspicuous examples. By formulating the example crafting as an optimization process and solving it using a genetic-based method, our proposed attack can generate imperceptible prompts for text-to-image generation models in a reliable way. Evaluation of six popular text-to-image generation models demonstrates the efficiency and stealthiness of our attack in both white-box and black-box settings. To allow the community to build on top of our findings, we’ve made the artifacts available. 
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  4. Explainability is increasingly recognized as an enabling technology for the broader adoption of machine learning (ML), particularly for safety-critical applications. This has given rise to explainable ML, which seeks to enhance the explainability of neural networks through the use of explanators. Yet, the pursuit for better explainability inadvertently leads to increased security and privacy risks. While there has been considerable research into the security risks of explainable ML, its potential privacy risks remain under-explored. To bridge this gap, we present a systematic study of privacy risks in explainable ML through the lens of membership inference. Building on the observation that, besides the accuracy of the model, robustness also exhibits observable differences among member samples and non-member samples, we develop a new membership inference attack. This attack extracts additional membership features from changes in model confidence under different levels of perturbations guided by the importance highlighted by the attribution maps in the explanators. Intuitively, perturbing important features generally results in a bigger loss in confidence for member samples. Using the member-non-member differences in both model performance and robustness, an attack model is trained to distinguish the membership. We evaluated our approach with seven popular explanators across various benchmark models and datasets. Our attack demonstrates there is non-trivial privacy leakage in current explainable ML methods. Furthermore, such leakage issue persists even if the attacker lacks the knowledge of training datasets or target model architectures. Lastly, we also found existing model and output-based defense mechanisms are not effective in mitigating this new attack. 
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