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I was playing around with my sendmail configuration in the /etc/ folder, and then, somehow, the contents of my /etc/ folder went away, and I'm unsure of how. From /var/log/auth.log:

Nov  8 10:28:42 www sshd[25389]: pam_unix(sshd:session): session closed for user neubert
Nov  8 10:28:42 www sshd[25389]: pam_mail(sshd:session): user unknown
Nov  8 10:28:42 www sshd[25389]: pam_env(sshd:setcred): Unable to open env file: /etc/environment: No such file or directory
Nov  8 10:28:42 www sshd[25389]: pam_env(sshd:setcred): No such user!?

/root/.bash_history doesn't reveal anything, either.

I was able to recover from a backup, but I'd still like to know what happened. Any ideas?

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closed as not a real question by Heptite, ChrisF, Hennes, soandos, Nifle Nov 9 '12 at 11:09

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Your question doesn't give enough information to provide an answer.

Here are a few possibilities though

  • Your machine was comprimised and someone thought it would be fun to delete your etc directory (improbable)
  • You have a script that is behaving in a way that you didn't expect (maybe it was supposed to clean something else out and crawled its way over to etc. This would likely be something you wrote yourself.
  • you made a typo when you were deleting one file in etc and ended up deleting all the files in etc. ie rm /etc/*
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