Via Independent:

A man appears to have deleted his entire company with one mistaken piece of code.

By accidentally telling his computer to delete everything in his servers, hosting provider Marco Marsala has seemingly removed all trace of his company and the websites that he looks after for his customers.

Mr Marsala wrote on a forum for server experts called Server Faultthat he was now stuck after having accidentally run destructive code on his own computers. But far from advising them how to fix it, most experts informed him that he had just accidentally deleted the data of his company and its clients, and in so doing had probably destroyed his entire company with just one line of code.

The problem command was “rm -rf”: a basic piece of code that will delete everything it is told to. The “rm” tells the computer to remove; the r deletes everything within a given directory; and the f stands for “force”, telling the computer to ignore the usual warnings that come when deleting files….


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4 Comments | Leave a comment
  1. Chuck says:

    No worries. Hillary and the IRS will hire him on the spot.

  2. Indeed. Was his data backed up on Hillary’s server I wonder?

  3. Chris says:

    It is true that as one developer replied on Server Fault; It was not a simple mistake that caused this but astonishingly BAD design reinforced by complete carelessness.
    A person would have to TRY to set up such a complete destruction of their technical environment – all the servers, all the backups being connected; executing the command while in the root directory(if you were in any other directory it would only affect what was in that directory), etc.

    btw – there was an update in the original story…
    Update: Since this story was posted, Mr Marsala has claimed that his original post was a hoax and written as a marketing stunt, but that it had happened to a client of his in 2006. Contacted by The Independent, Mr Marsala said that the post was guerilla marketing for another, unnamed, company

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