Last Updated on September 16, 2022
An attacker may have found a way to extract sensitive information from publicly available data by performing an inference attack. This type of attack involves analyzing multiple pieces of less sensitive public data and performing an analysis of those pieces to derive information. This article will discuss how an attacker performs this type of attack and describe the different phases of this attack. Once an attacker has mastered these techniques, they can begin the next phase of the attack.
Performing an Inference Attack
Inference attacks are methods of probing machine learning models by weighing the output. The attacker may discover that some data records contain sensitive information. The attacker then attempts to guess and alter the attribute values until the machine learning model performs to its maximum capability. Several different methods of performing inference attacks have been proposed. Here, we’ll discuss five methods that work for various AI models.
An attacker can use confidence information or data obtained from a data set to craft a query based on unknown variables within a model. Another method of performing an inference attack is by building a local model and issuing predictions queries against that model. An attacker can also develop new attacks offline. These methods use API particularities to extract classifier decisions. An attacker can then use the local model to craft adversarial examples and use them against the target model.
The adversary’s goal is to discover whether instance x is in the target dataset. The attacker uses one of three classes of adversaries to perform an MI attack. The attacker must also create k shadow classifiers to gain access to the target dataset. Using a probability vector FT (x), the attacker will try to determine whether the instance x belongs to class y.
The attacker must decide what they’re trying to target before they begin. The attacker may target the entire organization, a specific division or a particular location. In any case, they’ll dig into company web pages, related organizations, employee details, e-mail addresses, news, and other relevant information. Even events and current news can help them perform an inference attack. So, what should they do to execute an inference attack?
One way to perform an MI attack is by introducing random noise into the source data. Random noise can significantly reduce the likelihood that a classification is correct. The attacker can also craft their inputs to reduce the confidence level that the classifier will correctly classify an instance. This type of attack can overwhelm administrators and limit the number of alerts coming from a single source. Another method is to limit the volume of false positives by implementing event throttling.
Another method of performing an Inference Attack is to collect sensitive information from public data. For example, if you use a hospital’s discharge data to train a predictive model, a hacker can use this model to determine whether or not a patient is part of the training data. By doing this, they can potentially use a machine learning model to deduce sensitive information from public data.
Phases of an attacker
Once they have identified potential targets, hackers start to conduct reconnaissance and develop a plan of attack. These plans typically involve the use of a zero-day exploit, a spear-phishing campaign, or bribing an employee to get inside the organisation. Once they have identified their target, they plan the avenue they will use to breach the perimeter, download more tools, and eventually, execute the attack.
After compromising the network, an attacker will then attempt to gain additional privileges by impersonating an authorized user. Once they have gained access, they will use the credentials they have acquired in earlier phases to gain control of access channels. After gaining control of these access channels, they will start to take actions designed to accomplish their initial objectives, including stealing customer information and corrupting critical systems to disrupt business operations. Once they have gotten into a system, they may seek to degrade the security of all information and delete all evidence to ensure they do not leave a trace.
After reconnaissance, an attacker will move into weaponization, which involves coupling malicious software with an exploit. This is often accomplished by a tool known as a weaponizer. For example, an attacker may create an infected Microsoft Office document and deliver it via a phishing email. This kind of weaponization is nearly impossible to detect, but malware artifacts can contain information about the weaponizer and prevent it from reaching the intended target. As long as the attacker’s intentions are known, this defense is a good one.
Phishing attacks use simple communication vehicles, such as emails and phone calls. These attackers will try to persuade employees to perform certain business-related tasks by using detailed organizational data. The attacker will try to get employees to perform these actions and then refine the attack. Then they will move onto the next phase of the attack, the final phase. The goal of phishing is to obtain sensitive information or approve transactions.
Once the attacker has identified a potential target, they must decide whether to target the organization as a whole, a subsidiary, or a specific location. During this phase, they will attempt to gather information from company web-pages, the security systems, and employee profiles. They may also try to find out the company’s latest news, mergers, and other events that may have relevance to the target.
Once the initial reconnaissance phase is complete, the hacker will attempt to move through the system, gaining privileges, and exploiting the weak points in the system. This is the most common way to deduce information, and it is the easiest way for attackers to get an accurate blueprint of a target’s security posture. As the hacker moves through the network, they are likely to attempt to escalate privileges to gain access to sensitive assets.
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Wendy Lee is a pop culture ninja who knows all the latest trends and gossip. She's also an animal lover, and will be friends with any creature that crosses her path. Wendy is an expert writer and can tackle any subject with ease. But most of all, she loves to travel - and she's not afraid to evangelize about it to anyone who'll listen! Wendy enjoys all kinds of Asian food and cultures, and she considers herself a bit of a ninja when it comes to eating spicy foods.