AI SecuritySecuring-AISecurity of AI

AI Security 101

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is no longer just a buzzword; it’s an integral part of our daily lives, powering everything from our search for a perfect meme to critical infrastructure. But as Spider-Man’s Uncle Ben wisely said, “With great power comes great responsibility.” The power of AI is undeniable, but if not secured properly, it could end up making every meme a Chuck Norris meme.

Imagine a world where malicious actors can manipulate AI systems to make incorrect predictions, steal sensitive data, or even control the AI’s behavior. Without robust AI security, this dystopian scenario could become our reality. Ensuring the security of AI is not just about protecting algorithms; it’s about safeguarding our digital future. And the best way I can contribute to it is by raising awareness about AI-specific threats among as many cybersecurity and AI professionals.

On this page, I’ve compiled a selection of my intro articles on AI and ML security (in no particular order). This collection will continue to expand. As always, your feedback, suggestions for new topics, and other insights are invaluable and warmly welcomed.

Adversarial Attacks AI Security

Adversarial Attacks: The Hidden Risk in AI Security

The rapid proliferation of AI and Machine Learning (ML) technologies, from facial recognition to autonomous vehicles, has underscored the importance of cybersecurity. While AI and ML are revolutionizing cybersecurity by swiftly analyzing vast data sets and adapting to evolving threats, they also introduce new vulnerabilities. One such vulnerability is adversarial attacks, which specifically target AI and ML systems. These attacks involve inputting carefully crafted data to deceive the system, leading to incorrect decisions or classifications. For instance, an image’s pixels could be subtly manipulated to mislead a machine learning model, causing it to misidentify a stop sign as a yield sign. The article delves deep into the nature of adversarial attacks, their types (White-Box, Black-Box, Targeted, Non-Targeted), real-world examples, and the mechanisms behind them. Read more.

Semantic Adversarial Attacks: When Meaning Gets Twisted

Adversarial attacks manipulate data to deceive machine learning models, impacting their performance and reliability. A specific subset of these attacks, known as semantic adversarial attacks, focuses on twisting the semantic meaning behind data. Unlike traditional adversarial attacks that might add noise or make pixel-level changes, semantic attacks target the inherent understanding of the data. For instance, they might mislabel an image or change the meaning of sentences in text-based models. The article looks into the various techniques used in semantic adversarial attacks, the security implications they pose, and potential countermeasures. The piece underscores the growing threat of these attacks and the urgency of developing robust defenses to protect AI systems and the entities that rely on them. Read more.

Semantic Adversarial Attacks

AI Saliency Attacks

How Saliency Attacks Quietly Trick Your AI Models

Artificial Intelligence (AI) models, while transformative across sectors, are not immune to vulnerabilities. Among these, “Saliency Attacks” stand out as a covert threat. These attacks subtly manipulate the significant features, or “saliencies,” within data, deceiving AI models often without detection. In essence, they alter the critical data features that the model relies upon for decision-making, leading to incorrect predictions. As AI becomes integral to decision-making processes in areas like healthcare or finance, understanding and defending against saliency attacks is paramount. The article explores the nature of these attacks, their mechanisms, and the profound implications they have across various sectors. It emphasizes the importance of understanding and countering these threats to ensure the integrity of AI models and the safety of the systems they influence. Read more.

How to Defend Neural Networks from Trojan Attacks

Neural networks, which are inspired by the human brain, are integral to modern technologies such as voice recognition and medical diagnosis. However, their intricate design makes them susceptible to Trojan attacks. These attacks involve injecting malicious data into the training dataset, causing the neural network to associate it with a specific output, creating a hidden vulnerability. When activated, this vulnerability can lead to unpredictable behavior or incorrect decisions. The article delves into the nature of Trojan attacks, how they infiltrate neural networks, and real-world examples of potential threats. It also discusses why neural networks are vulnerable and outlines defensive measures, including prevention, detection, and mitigation strategies. The article emphasizes the importance of staying ahead of attackers by investing in research and collaboration to ensure the security of neural networks. Read more.

Trojan Attack

Data Poisoning ML AI

Understanding Data Poisoning: How It Compromises Machine Learning Models

Data poisoning attack targets the training data, the foundation of ML and AI. Data poisoning can significantly degrade ML model performance, leading to flawed analytics and potentially endangering lives. The article explains the concept of data poisoning, where adversaries manipulate training data to compromise machine learning models. It discusses various types of poisoning attacks, such as label flipping, outliers injection, and feature manipulation. The impact of these attacks can be vast, affecting model performance, decision boundaries, and introducing security risks. The article also presents case studies in sectors like autonomous vehicles, healthcare, financial fraud detection, and recommendation systems, highlighting the real-world implications of data poisoning. It concludes by suggesting mitigation strategies, emphasizing the importance of data sanitization, model regularization, real-time monitoring, third-party audits, and data provenance. Read more.

How Label-Flipping Attacks Mislead AI Systems

AI and ML systems’ effectiveness hinges on the integrity of labeled data, which is vulnerable to label-flipping attacks. In such attacks, adversaries manipulate training data labels, causing misclassifications. These attacks are particularly deceptive as they can make a model appear highly accurate on tampered data, but the model fails on genuine data. For instance, in financial scenarios, a compromised model might misidentify legitimate transactions as fraudulent. Label-flipping attacks can have severe consequences across sectors, from healthcare misdiagnoses to financial fraud. The article emphasizes the importance of robust security measures to detect and counteract such vulnerabilities in ML systems. Read more.

Label Flipping AI

GAN Poisoning AI

The Unseen Dangers of GAN Poisoning in AI

Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) have emerged as a pivotal technology, driving innovations in data generation, image synthesis, and content creation. However, these networks are not immune to cyber vulnerabilities, with GAN Poisoning being a significant and often overlooked threat. This type of attack subtly manipulates the training data or the GAN model itself, leading to misleading or malicious outputs. The article looks into the mechanics of GAN Poisoning, highlighting its elusive nature and the vast real-world implications of undetected attacks. From generating false news articles and deepfake videos to simulating misleading financial data, the potential misuse of poisoned GANs is vast. Addressing this threat requires a combination of detection, prevention, and ongoing research, emphasizing the need for both technological and ethical solutions. As GANs continue to shape various industries, it’s crucial to ensure their security and responsible use. Read more.

Backdoor Attacks in Machine Learning Models

Machine learning (ML) models, while powerful, are susceptible to a range of security threats, with Backdoor Attacks being one of the most insidious. These attacks embed a covert trigger during a model’s training phase, allowing attackers to manipulate the model’s output when it encounters a specific, pre-defined input. Such attacks can remain undetected, making them particularly dangerous. For instance, a compromised model in autonomous driving could misinterpret traffic signals, or a financial system could overlook illicit transactions. The article delves deep into the nature of these attacks, their mechanisms, and the profound implications they have across various sectors. It emphasizes the importance of understanding and countering these threats to ensure the integrity of ML models and the safety of the systems they influence. Read more.

Backdoor Attacks ML

Meta Attacks

Meta-Attacks: Utilizing Machine Learning to Compromise Machine Learning Systems

Meta-attacks present a sophisticated cybersecurity threat, uniquely employing machine learning to target and compromise other machine learning systems. Unlike traditional cyberattacks, meta-attacks exploit inherent weaknesses in machine learning architectures, making them especially potent. For instance, a meta-attack might use its own machine-learning model to produce highly effective adversarial examples, misleading the target system. By harnessing machine learning against itself, meta-attacks elevate the stakes in the cybersecurity domain, necessitating advanced defensive strategies to counter these adaptive threats. The article delves into the mechanics of meta-attacks, from identifying vulnerabilities in target systems to deploying the attack, emphasizing the significance of understanding and defending against these challenges in the ever-evolving field of cybersecurity. Read more.

How Multimodal Attacks Exploit Models Trained on Multiple Data Types

Multimodal models, capable of processing diverse data types like text, images, audio, and more, have revolutionized industries from healthcare to autonomous vehicles. However, their multifaceted nature also makes them vulnerable to attacks. The article explores the mechanics of multimodal attacks, which exploit the complexities of these systems. These attacks can target individual data types or synchronize attacks across multiple data types, amplifying the potential damage. Real-world implications of such attacks span sectors like healthcare, smart cities, and social media, with risks ranging from misdiagnoses to traffic chaos and the spread of misinformation. The article emphasizes the need for multi-layered defense strategies, including adversarial training and machine learning-based anomaly detection. It also highlights the potential of federated learning and explainable AI as future solutions. The piece concludes by stressing the importance of technological innovation and regulatory frameworks to safeguard against the risks of multimodal attacks. Read more.

Multimodal Attacks

AI Model Fragmentation

Model Fragmentation and What it Means for Security

Machine learning models are increasingly becoming a part of various technological applications. As these models evolve, they often undergo a process termed as “model fragmentation”, where different versions, architectures, or subsets of a model are deployed across various platforms or use cases. While this fragmentation provides adaptability and flexibility, it also brings forth a range of unique security challenges. The article delves into the reasons for model fragmentation, such as different versions, decentralized networks, hardware constraints, and regional/legal constraints. It also categorizes fragmentation into version-based, architecture-based, and data-based types, each with its own set of security implications. The piece further discusses methods of detection and prevention, highlighting the limitations of current methods and emphasizing the importance of ongoing research in this domain. Read more.

Outsmarting AI with Model Evasion

In the realm of cybersecurity, AI classifiers like neural networks are pivotal for real-time anomaly detection. Yet, these models are vulnerable to evasion tactics, including adversarial perturbations and feature-space manipulations. These tactics exploit the models’ mathematical foundations, confusing their decision-making. The article looks into the various evasion techniques, from simple evasion methods like altering observable features to sophisticated adversarial attacks that exploit mathematical properties. It also touches on data poisoning, where attackers tamper with training data, and model manipulation, where attackers directly alter model parameters. The article emphasizes the importance of understanding these evasion techniques to develop more resilient AI-driven security measures. It concludes by highlighting the need for collaboration between machine learning experts and security professionals to bolster next-gen AI security. Read more.

Model Evasion AI

Model Inversion Attack AI

How Model Inversion Attacks Compromise AI Systems

The effectiveness of AI is contingent upon the robustness and security of its underlying algorithms. A significant vulnerability that threatens these aspects is the phenomenon of Model Inversion Attacks. These attacks aim to exploit AI models to infer sensitive information about the training data or even the algorithmic intricacies of the model itself. Given that many AI models operate in regulated environments where data confidentiality is crucial, such as healthcare or financial systems, the implications of model inversion attacks are vast and concerning. The article delves into the nature of these attacks, their mechanics, implications, and potential mitigation strategies. It emphasizes the importance of securing AI systems against such threats, highlighting the ongoing challenges and research in the cybersecurity domain. Read more.

The Dark Art of Model Stealing: What You Need to Know

AI and ML models are vulnerable to a form of cyber attack known as “model stealing.” This attack involves hackers duplicating a machine learning model without having direct access to its parameters or data. The article explores the definition of model stealing, the types of AI models that are most vulnerable, real-world examples of model theft, and the techniques employed by attackers. It also discusses the risks involved, best practices for preventing model theft, and recent research on the topic. The article underscores the importance of understanding the intricacies of model stealing and the need for robust security measures to protect these valuable assets in an era where AI models are both a product and a potential vulnerability. Read more.

AI Model Stealing

Data Spoofing AI

When AI Trusts False Data: Exploring Data Spoofing’s Impact on Security

AI and ML technologies are particularly effective due to their ability to process and analyze vast amounts of data at unparalleled speeds, enabling real-time threat detection and mitigation. However, this strength is also a potential vulnerability: AI systems are heavily reliant on the integrity of the data they process, making them susceptible to Data Spoofing. Data spoofing involves the deliberate manipulation or fabrication of data to deceive systems, which can severely compromise the efficacy of AI-based security measures. The article delves deep into the nature of data spoofing, its real-world implications, the types of AI systems affected, and potential countermeasures. It underscores the importance of understanding and addressing the challenges posed by data spoofing to ensure the reliability and security of AI systems across various sectors. Read more.

The Threat of Query Attacks on Machine Learning Models

Machine learning models, integral to various industries from healthcare to finance, are vulnerable to a range of cyberattacks, with query attacks being a notable threat. These attacks target machine learning models by issuing a series of queries, typically input data, to extract valuable insights from the model’s output. This can range from understanding the model’s architecture to uncovering the data it was trained on. The stealthy nature of these attacks allows them to mimic legitimate user activity, making detection challenging. The article delves into the intricacies of query attacks, from their methods of execution to their implications. It underscores the importance of robust security measures to safeguard machine learning models against such threats, emphasizing the need for ongoing research and vigilance in the ever-evolving cybersecurity landscape. Read more.

Query Attack

Differential Privacy AI

Securing Data Labeling Through Differential Privacy

Data labelling process for supervised machine learning often involves handling sensitive or personal information, necessitating robust privacy measures. Differential Privacy emerges as a solution, introducing ‘random noise’ into the data, which acts as a protective layer, making it difficult to reverse-engineer sensitive details. This method ensures data remains secure even during real-world analytical queries or complex machine-learning operations. The article looks into the intricacies of Differential Privacy, its pros and cons, and its significance in ensuring a balance between data utility and privacy. It underscores the importance of safeguarding labeled data, highlighting the potential consequences of privacy breaches and emphasizing the need for expert consultation, parameter tuning, and regular audits. Read more.

How Dynamic Data Masking Reinforces Machine Learning Security

Machine learning (ML) systems are handling vast amounts of sensitive data, from personal to financial details. As these systems process and learn from this data, they face significant cybersecurity challenges. One of the primary concerns is how to manage and safeguard sensitive data throughout the ML workflow. Among the various solutions available, Dynamic Data Masking (DDM) stands out as a key tool for enhancing security measures. DDM acts as a real-time data protection mechanism, obfuscating sensitive data during queries without altering the original data. This method ensures that ML systems can function without jeopardizing the integrity of the information, making it an essential component of comprehensive cybersecurity strategies, especially in sectors like healthcare, finance, and government services. Read more.

Dynamic Data Masking ML

Homomorphic Encryption ML

Securing Machine Learning Workflows through Homomorphic Encryption

Traditional encryption methods often fall short in safeguarding ML models and their associated training data. Homomorphic Encryption emerges as a solution, allowing computations to be performed directly on encrypted data, thus eliminating the risks associated with exposing sensitive data during processing. This article explores intricacies of Homomorphic Encryption, discussing its unique capabilities, potential use-cases, and the latest research in the domain. From healthcare to finance, the applications of this encryption technique are vast, promising enhanced data privacy without compromising the utility of ML models. The article underscores the importance of adopting such transformative encryption methods, emphasizing their role in shaping the future of machine learning, especially in sectors where data sensitivity is paramount. Read more.

Twitter API for Secure Data Collection in Machine Learning Workflows

Machine learning (ML) systems are handling vast amounts of sensitive data, from personal to financial details. As these systems process and learn from this data, they face significant cybersecurity challenges. One of the primary concerns is how to manage and safeguard sensitive data throughout the ML workflow. Among the various solutions available, Dynamic Data Masking (DDM) stands out as a key tool for enhancing security measures. DDM acts as a real-time data protection mechanism, obfuscating sensitive data during queries without altering the original data. This method ensures that ML systems can function without jeopardizing the integrity of the information, making it an essential component of comprehensive cybersecurity strategies, especially in sectors like healthcare, finance, and government services. Read more.

API Security ML AI

AI Disinformation

AI-Exacerbated Disinformation and Threats to Democracy

The proliferation of AI-powered disinformation campaigns poses a significant threat to democratic societies. The article explores the intricacies of AI-driven disinformation, highlighting how advanced algorithms can generate fake news, deepfakes, and other forms of misleading content with unprecedented speed and scale. These AI-generated falsehoods can manipulate public opinion, undermine trust in institutions, and even influence election outcomes. The article underscores the challenges in detecting and countering such disinformation, given its sophisticated nature and the rapid pace at which it spreads across social media platforms. The piece also emphasizes the need for a multi-faceted approach, involving technological solutions, media literacy education, and regulatory measures, to combat the menace of AI-driven disinformation and safeguard the pillars of democracy. Read more.


For 30+ years, I've been committed to protecting people, businesses, and the environment from the physical harm caused by cyber-kinetic threats, blending cybersecurity strategies and resilience and safety measures. Lately, my worries have grown due to the rapid, complex advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI). Having observed AI's progression for two decades and penned a book on its future, I see it as a unique and escalating threat, especially when applied to military systems, disinformation, or integrated into critical infrastructure like 5G networks or smart grids. More about me.

Luka Ivezic
Luka Ivezic

Luka Ivezic is the Lead Cybersecurity Consultant for Europe at the Information Security Forum (ISF), a leading global, independent, and not-for-profit organisation dedicated to cybersecurity and risk management. Before joining ISF, Luka served as a cybersecurity consultant and manager at PwC and Deloitte. His journey in the field began as an independent researcher focused on cyber and geopolitical implications of emerging technologies such as AI, IoT, 5G. He co-authored with Marin the book "The Future of Leadership in the Age of AI". Luka holds a Master's degree from King's College London's Department of War Studies, where he specialized in the disinformation risks posed by AI.

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