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Enhancing the Self-Universality for Transferable Targeted Attacks

Zhipeng Wei · Jingjing Chen · Zuxuan Wu · Yu-Gang Jiang

West Building Exhibit Halls ABC 387


In this paper, we propose a novel transfer-based targeted attack method that optimizes the adversarial perturbations without any extra training efforts for auxiliary networks on training data. Our new attack method is proposed based on the observation that highly universal adversarial perturbations tend to be more transferable for targeted attacks. Therefore, we propose to make the perturbation to be agnostic to different local regions within one image, which we called as self-universality. Instead of optimizing the perturbations on different images, optimizing on different regions to achieve self-universality can get rid of using extra data. Specifically, we introduce a feature similarity loss that encourages the learned perturbations to be universal by maximizing the feature similarity between adversarial perturbed global images and randomly cropped local regions. With the feature similarity loss, our method makes the features from adversarial perturbations to be more dominant than that of benign images, hence improving targeted transferability. We name the proposed attack method as Self-Universality (SU) attack. Extensive experiments demonstrate that SU can achieve high success rates for transfer-based targeted attacks. On ImageNet-compatible dataset, SU yields an improvement of 12% compared with existing state-of-the-art methods. Code is available at

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