Prompt-Specific Poisoning Attacks on Text-to-Image Generative Models

Shawn ShanWenxin DingJosephine PassanantiHaitao ZhengBen Y. Zhao

Data poisoning attacks manipulate training data to introduce unexpected behaviors into machine learning models at training time. For text-to-image generative models with massive training datasets, current understanding of poisoning attacks suggests that a successful attack would require injecting millions of poison samples into their training pipeline. In this paper, we show that poisoning attacks can be successful on generative models. We observe that training data per concept can be quite limited in these models, making them vulnerable to prompt-specific poisoning attacks, which target a model’s ability to respond to individual prompts.

We introduce Nightshade, an optimized prompt-specific poisoning attack where poison samples look visually identical to benign images with matching text prompts. Nightshade poison samples are also optimized for potency and can corrupt an Stable Diffusion SDXL prompt in <100 poison samples. Nightshade poison effects “bleed through” to related concepts, and multiple attacks can composed together in a single prompt. Surprisingly, we show that a moderate number of Nightshade attacks can destabilize general features in a text-to-image generative model, effectively disabling its ability to generate meaningful images. Finally, we propose the use of Nightshade` and similar tools as a last defense for content creators against web scrapers that ignore opt-out/do-not-crawl directives, and discuss possible implications for model trainers and content creators.


more insights