A huge hosting company accidentally deleted a load of its customers' websites

A huge hosting company has accidentally deleted an undisclosed number of customers’ websites — leaving numerous businesses in the lurch.

As previously reported by ZDNet, 123-reg — which has 1.7 million British customers — managed to wipe out the websites of a number of customers due to a technical error over the weekend.

It’s not clear exactly how many sites have been affected, and 123-reg won’t say exactly.

InnMaster, a software company affected by the mistake, wrote a blog post explaining the gravity of the situation to its customers. “At 7am on Saturday morning someone at our hosting provider ran a script that had a catastrophic error in it. The result was that the script deleted the servers and websites of all their customers! This is a major embarrassment for a large web hosting group and judging by what we have seen on Twitter it has left some of their customers who had no backup or emergency plan with no website and potentially no business any more.”

Another customer wrote on Twitter: “This will wreck my business & plenty of others I am sure.”

123-reg says the mistake happened during a clean-up of the service its affected customers used — virtual private servers. The company told the BBC that “we can conclude that the issues faced have resulted in some data loss for some customers.”

It is now trying to work to recover customers’ data from backups where possible — but, it told the BBC, it did not keep backups for all customers.

According to the most recent update on its Status Page, 123-reg’s engineers are “testing multiple third party data recovery software and we are definitely seeing some results.”

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