Color-Optimized One-Pixel Attack Against Digital Pathology Images

Modern artificial intelligence based medical imaging tools are vulnerable to model fooling attacks. Automated medical imaging methods are used for supporting the decision making by classifying samples as regular or as having characters of abnormality. One use of such technology is the analysis of whole-slide image tissue samples. Consequently, attacks against artificial intelligence based medical imaging methods may diminish the credibility of modern diagnosis methods and, at worst, may lead to misdiagnosis with improper treatment. This study demonstrates an advanced color-optimized one-pixel attack against medical imaging. A state-of-the-art one-pixel modification is constructed with minimal effect on the pixel’s color value. This multi-objective approach mitigates the unnatural coloring of raw none-pixel attacks. Accordingly, it is infeasible or at least cumbersome for a human to see the modification in the image under analysis. This color-optimized one-pixel attack poses an advanced cyber threat against modern medical imaging and shows the importance of data integrity with image analysis.


Joni Korpihalkola, Tuomo Sipola, Tero Kokkonen

Cite as

J. Korpihalkola, T. Sipola and T. Kokkonen, “Color-Optimized One-Pixel Attack Against Digital Pathology Images,” 2021 29th Conference of Open Innovations Association (FRUCT), 2021, pp. 206-213, doi: 10.23919/FRUCT52173.2021.9435562.

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This work was funded by the Regional Council of Central Finland/Council of Tampere Region and European Regional Development Fund as part of the Health Care Cyber Range (HCCR) project of JAMK University of Applied Sciences Institute of Information Technology.

The authors would like to thank Ms. Tuula Kotikoski for proofreading the manuscript.