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Web hosting firm’s ‘catastrophic error’ inadvertently wipes websites from the internet

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By John Glenday, Reporter

April 19, 2016 | 1 min read

A UK web hosting service blunder has seen a proportion of its 1.7m websites deleted since the weekend following a botched server maintenance exercise.

123-reg left users of its virtual private server in the dark after an automated script run on its servers accidentally deleting user files in a ‘catastrophic error’, with as yet no indication as to whether they can be restored.

In a statement given to the BBC, the company said it had instigated a ‘recovery process’ after conceding that the difficulties had resulted ‘in some data loss for some customers’.

In direct communications with those affected, 123-Reg said that it was beginning the process of copying recovered files onto new servers and that some websites should now be back online.

It also added that procedures had been changed to ensure that no automated script would be able to delete files again in future without human intervention.

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