Rewriting histories: Recovering from malicious transactions

Peng Liu, Paul Ammann, Sushil Jajodia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


We consider recovery from malicious but committed transactions. Traditional recovery mechanisms do not address this problem, except for complete rollbacks, which undo the work of good transactions as well as malicious ones, and compensating transactions, whose utility depends on application semantics. We develop an algorithm that rewrites execution histories for the purpose of backing out malicious transactions. Good transactions that are affected, directly or indirectly, by malicious transactions complicate the process of backing out undesirable transactions. We show that the prefix of a rewritten history produced by the algorithm serializes exactly the set of unaffected good transactions. The suffix of the rewritten history includes special state information to describe affected good transactions as well as malicious transactions. We describe techniques that can extract additional good transactions from this latter part of a rewritten history. The latter processing saves more good transactions than is possible with a dependency-graph based approach to recovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-40
Number of pages34
JournalDistributed and Parallel Databases
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Information Systems
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Information Systems and Management


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