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Image-Recognition Technology May Not Be as Secure as We Think


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The special poster he's holding rendered the person at right invisible to image-classification software.

Image recognition technology may be more susceptible to deception than previously assumed.

Credit: Simen Thys, Wiebe Van Ranst, Toon Goedem/KU Leuven

Evidence is growing that image recognition technology may be more susceptible to deception than previously assumed.

Engineers at the ZeroFOX security startup suspected last year that a photo in a bogus social-media profile was modified to fool content filters, as a form of adversarial attack.

One senior technology executive said hacker groups are conducting "probing attacks" on social-media filters, with emphasis "on attacking [artificial intelligence] algorithms, changing a few pixels."

Researchers also demonstrated image- ecognition systems can be deceived offline, with a team from KU Leuven in Belgium successfully fooling popular image-classification software by masking themselves from a surveillance camera with a colorful poster.

Meanwhile, Wieland Brendel at the University of Tubingen in Germany publicly released a corpus of programming code that can be used to launch adversarial attacks on image-recognition systems, so developers of neural networks for image-recognition systems can test for flaws.

From The Wall Street Journal
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