“Man deletes company with a line of code,” turns out to be a hoax

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Do you remember that story of a man deleting his company’s and his clients’ data with a single command, rm -rf? Well, it turns out that the whole story was a hoax. Marco Marsala, the owner of the company, told an Italian paper that it “was just a joke.”

Marsala reportedly spread the rumour about the code wiping out the database and his backups as a viral marketing campaign, cites a post on StackExchange’s forum. In an earlier report, we mentioned that Marsala’s company, Genoa Hostings, host to over 1500 websites, had lost all its data owing to Marsala accidentally entering an incorrect rm -rf command. The command, in the right situation, can systematically wipe out all data on a system.


When presented with the “facts,” many users on tech forums were suspicious of the tale, especially when, apparently, UNIX and the updated tools currently available to administrators have built-in safeguards to prevent something like this from happening in the first place.

As Marsala puts it, it was all in good fun. Any publicity is better than no publicity, right?

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