AdaShield: Safeguarding Multimodal Large Language Models from Structure-based Attack via Adaptive Shield Prompting


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With the advent and widespread deployment of Multimodal Large Language Models (MLLMs), the imperative to ensure their safety has become increasingly pronounced. However, with the integration of additional modalities, MLLMs are exposed to new vulnerabilities, rendering them prone to structured-based jailbreak attacks, where semantic content (e.g., "harmful text") has been injected into the images to mislead MLLMs. In this work, we aim to defend against such threats. Specifically, we propose Adaptive Shield Prompting (AdaShield), which prepends inputs with defense prompts to defend MLLMs against structure-based jailbreak attacks without fine-tuning MLLMs or training additional modules (e.g., post-stage content detector). Initially, we present a manually designed static defense prompt, which thoroughly examines the image and instruction content step by step and specifies response methods to malicious queries. Furthermore, we introduce an adaptive auto-refinement framework, consisting of a target MLLM and a LLM-based defense prompt generator (Defender). These components collaboratively and iteratively communicate to generate a defense prompt. Extensive experiments on the popular structure-based jailbreak attacks and benign datasets show that our methods can consistently improve MLLMs' robustness against structure-based jailbreak attacks without compromising the model's general capabilities evaluated on standard benign tasks. Our code is available at
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