Customer had copied some photos from a camera onto server N in a tearing rush about a month ago. N had been set up by others, made files available only by SaMBa shares, we had no root/superuser password, & the photos weren’t in evidence anywhere. Hmmm.
Customer declared that he had “a sudo password” — eh? So we SSHed in as that user, did a “sudo su -” & set ourselves a new root password. Also added a couple of non-sudo-capable users, & searched the entire machine.
No matching photos on N at all. Hmmm.
Searched workstations (numbered clockwise from the aircon) 1, 2 & 3 with no joy. Double-hmmm.
Having nothing better to do, I searched server O — & bingo! there were the photos.
They’d been copied onto the ancient server by mistake.
It’s always the simplest errors that cause the most fuss — because everyone assumes they can’t happen.
Deeper hmmm. I could almost certainly write a decent book about this pattern, & the massive trauma it can cause — but would have to either use pseudonyms or lie to avoid being jailed, either of which goes against my character.