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Randomized Smoothing Under Attack: How Good is it in Practice?

Thibault MAHO, Teddy FURON, Erwan LE MERRER


Randomized smoothing is a recent and celebrated solution to certify the robustness of any classifier. While it indeed provides a theoretical robustness against adversarial attacks, the dimensionality of current classifiers necessarily imposes Monte Carlo approaches for its application in practice.This paper questions the effectiveness of randomized smoothing as a defense, against state of the art black-box attacks. This is a novel perspective, as previous research works considered the certification as an unquestionable guarantee. We first formally highlight the mismatch between a theoretical certification and the practice of attacks on classifiers. We then perform attacks on randomized smoothing as a defense. Our main observation is that there is a major mismatch in the settings of the RS for obtaining high certified robustness or when defeating black box attacks while preserving the classifier accuracy.