Recovery from malicious transactions

Paul Ammann, Sushil Jajodia, Peng Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

117 Scopus citations


Preventive measures sometimes fail to deflect malicious attacks. In this paper, we adopt an information warfare perspective, which assumes success by the attacker in achieving partial, but not complete, damage. In particular, we work in the database context and consider recovery from malicious but committed transactions. Traditional recovery mechanisms do not address this problem, except for complete rollbacks, which undo the work of benign transactions as well as malicious ones, and compensating transactions, whose utility depends on application semantics. Recovery is complicated by the presence of benign transactions that depend, directly or indirectly, on the malicious transactions. We present algorithms to restore only the damaged part of the database. We identify the information that needs to be maintained for such algorithms. The initial algorithms repair damage to quiescent databases; subsequent algorithms increase availability by allowing new transactions to execute concurrently with the repair process. Also, via a study of benchmarks, we show practical examples of how offline analysis can efficiently provide the necessary data to repair the damage of malicious transactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1167-1185
Number of pages19
JournalIEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


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