Fault Injection Attacks in Spiking Neural Networks and Countermeasures

Karthikeyan Nagarajan, Junde Li, Sina Sayyah Ensan, Sachhidh Kannan, Swaroop Ghosh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Spiking Neural Networks (SNN) are fast emerging as an alternative option to Deep Neural Networks (DNN). They are computationally more powerful and provide higher energy-efficiency than DNNs. While exciting at first glance, SNNs contain security-sensitive assets (e.g., neuron threshold voltage) and vulnerabilities (e.g., sensitivity of classification accuracy to neuron threshold voltage change) that can be exploited by the adversaries. We explore global fault injection attacks using external power supply and laser-induced local power glitches on SNN designed using common analog neurons to corrupt critical training parameters such as spike amplitude and neuron’s membrane threshold potential. We also analyze the impact of power-based attacks on the SNN for digit classification task and observe a worst-case classification accuracy degradation of −85.65%. We explore the impact of various design parameters of SNN (e.g., learning rate, spike trace decay constant, and number of neurons) and identify design choices for robust implementation of SNN. We recover classification accuracy degradation by 30–47% for a subset of power-based attacks by modifying SNN training parameters such as learning rate, trace decay constant, and neurons per layer. We also propose hardware-level defenses, e.g., a robust current driver design that is immune to power-oriented attacks, improved circuit sizing of neuron components to reduce/recover the adversarial accuracy degradation at the cost of negligible area, and 25% power overhead. We also propose a dummy neuron-based detection of voltage fault injection at ∼1% power and area overhead each.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number801999
JournalFrontiers in Nanotechnology
Volume3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 11 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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