Maximilian K. Noppel

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology – Ph.D. Student


KIT, bldg. 50.34 room 163

Am Fasanengarten 5

76131 Karlsruhe

I am a doctoral researcher in the Intelligent System Security (IntelliSec) group of Christian Wressnegger. After my B.Sc. in Computer Science I worked for three years as a software engineer and software architect for embedded multiprocessor devices. Then I decided to head back to university. In 2020, I graduated to M.Sc. in Computer Science at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). My studies were concentrated on IT security, cryptography, anonymity and privacy, and algorithm engineering.

As a doctoral researcher, I focus on the vulnerabilities of eXplainable Artificial Intelligence (XAI) in adversarial environments. XAI methods augment the predictions of an ML model by an additional output, the explanations. This increase in the amount of scalar outputs potentizes the number of possible adversarial goals. An adversary may fool the prediction, the explanation, or both simultaneously. Note that with the term ‘fooling,’ I capture diverse incentives, e.g., showing a target explanation or injecting a backdoor. I research these attacks with varying threat models, explanation methods, model architectures, and application domains. My research highlights the necessity of robustness guarantees for XAI, which I hope to be able to provide at some point.

In my spare time, I founded the hackerspace e.V. in 2016 and several other clubs, e.g., to promote local musicians. I love open-source software and open-hardware projects, including little Arduino projects, but also my homebrew relay CPU project and mechanical keyboards. In addition, I’m working on mechanical projects using CNC mills or 3D printers, and I organize events like code-golfings, lightning-talks, hackathons, hackerjeopardy-parties, or crypto-parties. I am also an active ham radio operator with the call sign DC0MX. You can find me in the university’s ham radio group DF0UK. If you are interested in sports, find me as a trainer for under-water-rugby in the SSC Karlsruhe and KIT University teams.

news [more]

May 21, 2024 Today, I will present our S&P paper SoK: Explainable Machine Learning in Adversarial Environments at the 45th IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy 2024 in San Francisco, CA, USA. I am looking forward for the questions and discussions with the community.
Mar 26, 2024 I just gave a talk The Threat of Explanation-Aware Attacks: The Example of Explanation-Aware Backdoors in the XAI seminar of the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich and the University Bremen. Thanks for the invitation and thanks for having me.
Nov 25, 2023 For the next few days, I visit the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS) in Copenhagen, DK. I will present my poster Poster: Fooling XAI with Explanation-Aware Backdoors. there. And I’m looking forward to exciting discussions with other researchers in the community.

selected publications [more]

  1. SoK: Explainable Machine Learning in Adversarial Environments
    In Proc. of the IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy (S&P), 2024
  2. Disguising Attacks with Explanation-Aware Backdoors
    In Proc. of the IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy (S&P), 2023
  3. WPES
    Plausible Deniability for Anonymous Communication
    In Proc. of Workshop on Privacy in the Electronic Society (WPES), 2021