It’s a hoax! The viral story of a man who deleted his company with basically one stroke of a key when he ran a bad line of code, is nothing but a hoax. This turned out to be a marketing ploy that took off in leaps and bounds when Marco Marsala first asked for help on Server Fruit community forums.
Experts jumped on the forum to deliver Marsala the bad news after he explained that he had accidentally ran a “Bash script.” According to Digital Trends on April 17 Marsala wrote: “Last night I accidentally ran, on all servers, a Bash script. 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).”
Marco also claimed to run a small Web hosting company with 1,535 clients and he reported all the client files are gone. It sounded like a real mess even to the folks who have no idea about computer codes and risk of deletion.
Most experts are familiar with this code and they jumped on the community forums to give Marsala the bad news. The responses he got shows just how dire the experts believed his situation to be after he explained his mistake.
One person wrote; “I feel sorry to say that your company is now essentially dead.” This was an expert offering the bad news. They continued, “You might have an extremely slim chance to recover from this is if you turn off everything right now and hand your disks over to a reputable data recovery company.” At least this person offered a chance, however dim.
Another person painted a picture of his new life for him with these words; “You’re going out of business. You don’t need technical advice; you need to call your lawyer.”
Digital Trends offers an explanation of what Marsala claimed to have done: They write that he entered ““rm -rf,” which effectively tells a computer to delete just about everything. “Rm” is the remove command, “r” specifies everything within a directory, and “f” forces the command to push past the normal blockers that would prevent such a disaster from occurring.”
According to Design and Trend, the news picked up these forum posts and ran with it. On Friday, Stack Overflow, the organization behind the forum where Marsala originally posted this ploy, told its members they had ” been played.”
The desperate guy who deleted his entire business was actually just a “hoax in some kind of viral marketing effort.” It was reported that an Italian newspaper figured out the hoax and Marsala admitted it was a joke to the publication. Stack Overflow said in a statement, “The moderators on Server Fault have been in contact with the author about this, and as you can imagine, they’re not particularly amused by it.”
While Marco created this scenario as a hoax, it is based in reality. Design and Trend writes “Scripts or macros, which are a set of directions for a computer, are increasingly utilized by businesses to complete repetitive tasks and save time. Automation tools are now the norm for data transfer, maintenance and a host of other applications. A wrong command in these scripts could easily result in serious error.” This explains why the experts fell so easily for this hoax because it has happened before and it can easily happen again, according to the video above explaining the viral story as it broke last week.