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Man wipes out his entire company with own overhasty fingers

In what was to be a most bizarre circumstance, a man deleted his entire company and the websites of his clients by accident after typing a wrong bit of code on his computer server.

Marco Marsala ran a web hosting company with over 1535 customers that looks after the servers and internet connections on which the files for websites are stored. He wrote on a forum for server experts ‘Server Fault’ yesterday, that he was stuck after accidentally running destructive code on his own computers, including the websites of his customers.


Marco Marsala, who allegedly deleted his entire startup with a single line of code.

The code, ‘rm -rf’, deleted everything and blocked the helpful warnings that usually inform the user that something is being deleted. He hadn’t specified what he wanted deleted, it erased everything, The Independent reported without mentioning where the company is based.

“I accidentally ran, on all servers, a Bash script with a rm -rf {foo}/{bar} with those variables undefined due to a bug in the code above this line,” he said.

He confirmed that the code had even deleted all of the backups that he had taken as the drives that were backing up the computers were mounted to it, the computer managed to wipe all of those too.

Most experts informed him that he had just accidentally deleted the data of his company and its clients, and in doing so had probably destroyed his entire company with just one line of code.

“All servers got deleted and the offsite backups too because the remote storage was mounted just before by the same script (that is a backup maintenance script),” he added.


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Sydney Chesterfield

Poet, Playwright, Philosopher, Humanitarian, mad lover of children and unflinching fighter for equality on all grounds viz. Women's rights, child rights, sine die.

Twitter: @syd_field