Sabotage and Lack of Data Backup Sink Company

San Jose-based, free blog-hosting and software company, JournalSpace.com has unceremoniously closed up shop and gone out of business. JournalSpace.com was not a victim of the economic downturn, however; the company's sudden failure was a direct result of sabotage by "a disgruntled member" of the company that hosted JournalSpace's site. The now sparse JournalSpace blog provides a rather personal view into the circumstances that led to the company's failure:

"... yes, I was a huge idiot, first and foremost.

It was the guy handling the IT (and, yes, the same guy who I caught stealing from the company, and who did a slash-and-burn on some servers on his way out) who made the choice to rely on RAID as the only backup mechanism for the SQL server. He had set up automated backups for the HTTP server which contains the PHP code, but, inscrutably
[sic], had no backup system in place for the SQL data. The ironic thing here is that one of his hobbies was telling everybody how smart he was.

This doesn't excuse what happened, though: I should have taken a better look at what he'd left behind, and fixed all of the things that needed fixing."


 
 The JournalSpace.com blog
RAID is not a backup mechanism. RAID, which stands for redundant array of independent disks, is used for fault tolerance; in the case of JournalSpace.com's two-drive RAID mirror system, if one drive failed, the second drive still contained all of the same data that was on the now failed drive. But if both drives failed, as was the case here, then all of the data is potentially wiped forever. While such a catastrophic failure is not likely, it is still in the realm of possibilities from things such as a failure of the server operating system, the presence of malware, or a voltage surge (such as from a lighting strike)... Or sabotoge... If data is mission critical--especially when that data is the core of a business--it is imperative to make sure that data is backed up--ideally offsite.

JournalSpace.com sent the drives to DriveSavers, hoping that the data could be recovered, but it could not: "The data was simply gone. Overwritten." Ultimately JournalSpace.com's failure was because it put too much trust in the team members of its hosting company, San Jose-based Lagomorphics, and it didn't take enough of a first-hand vested interest in making sure that its assets were well protected. The JournalSpace.com folks take accountability for the company's downfall, as they admit on what is left of the company's homepage:

"But, clearly, we failed to take the steps to prevent this from happening. And for that we are very sorry.

So, after nearly six years, journalspace is no more."


The JournalSpace.com and JournalSpace.net domains are currently for sale on eBay--the auction already has 31 bids from 14 bidders with the current bid at $2,400. The auction ends in six days and "15% of the sale price will be donated to the Susan G. Komen For The Cure charity." As to JournalSpace .com users who lost all of their blog and journal entries when the drives were wiped, a blogger by the name of Adrew S. reports that at least some of the posts might be able to recovered by using cached versions of their pages on Google.
Via:  Slashdot
Tags:  Backup, RAID, Sabotage
Comments
Lev_Astov 5 years ago

Not even DriveSavers could recover the data? Wow. This guy must have used something like DBAN to wipe the drives completely. My condolences to JournalSpace and its users, but I'm quite curious as to what caused such a disgruntled employee.

bob_on_the_cob 5 years ago

[quote user="Lev_Astov"]but I'm quite curious as to what caused such a disgruntled employee.[/quote]

As a manager I can say it doesn't take much to piss someone off. You can't please everyone and sometimes people are want payback for the smallest thing like having to work a day they wanted off.

tanka12345 5 years ago

Shouldn't that employee be facing criminal charges?

bob_on_the_cob 5 years ago

[quote user="tanka12345"]

Shouldn't that employee be facing criminal charges?

[/quote]

I'm sure he will. This is really sad.

 

mikel_hh 5 years ago

Just wanted to add that a very good reason why RAID is not a backup mechanism is because all of the data is "live", or "in production". With RAID, if I do something moronic, for instance screwing up a maintenance procedure and deleting all of the files on my file system, or perhaps creating/running an unstable application, it will happily mirror your screw-up on all drives. With a proper backup, such as off-site tapes, this is not possible. There is a clear disconnect between your live data and your backup data. You can destroy your production data and hardware all you want, but your backup is still safe.

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