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Did He Delete His Whole Business?

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According to posts on the forum Server Fault, business owner Marco Marsala accidentally deleted the data for his entire company by running one command on his servers. Containing all the data he had for websites his company hosted, the command removed every single file he had.

While doing server maintenance, he ran the Linux command “rm –rf” which forcibly removed everything whether or not it was being used without a warning message to cancel the action. Because it was done accidentally, no directory was given to be deleted. Due to a bug in the Bash script he was using the location wasn’t set programmatically as it normally would and instead deleted everything starting from the top of the filesystem, wiping all his servers.

Normally, he should have been able to restore his lost data from backups, but he had mounted the drives to his computer for access after recently connecting to a provider to store them offsite. Consequently, the command was able to delete everything including his backups.

Forum members immediately told Marsala that his company data was gone forever and criticized him for not putting the proper safeguards in place to protect his company. That the command was ever able to execute showed carelessness on a design level that seemed unbelievable, which is probably due to the fact that it is unbelievable.

As it turns out, it was all a hoax. According to Stack Overflow, which runs the forum, Marsala made the whole thing up in a viral marketing effort to promote his company. Why you would want to promote your company by tricking news outlets into running a story convincing people that you are incredibly incompetent is unknown.