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Typos in the commands with disastrous consequences are rare but pressing Enter before checking the command can lead to a very impressive effects:
In article <firstname.lastname@example.org.UUCP>
>On a old decstation 3100 I was deleting last semesters users to try to
>dig up some disk space, I also deleted some test users at the same time.
>One user took longer then usual, so I hit control-c and tried ls.
>"ls: command not found"
>Turns out that the test user had / as the home directory and the remove
>user script in ultrix just happily blew away the whole disk.
Reminds me of a bit of local folk-lore (this happened before I was in the admin group)...
We have a home-grown admin system that controls accounts on all of our machines. It has a remove user operation that removes the user from all machines at the same time in the middle of the night.
Well, one night, the thing goes off and tries to remove a user with
the home directory '/'. All the machines went down, with varying
amounts of stuff missing (depending on how soon the script, rm, find,
and other importing things were clobbered).
Nobody knew what what was going on! The systems were restored
from backup, and things seemed to be going OK, until the next night
the remove-user script was fired off by cron again.
This time, Corporate Security was called in, and the admin group's
supervisor was called back from his vacation (I think there's something in there about a helicopter picking the guy up from a rafting trip
in the Grand Canyon).
By chance, somebody checked the cron scripts, and all was well for the next night...
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