Microsoft Windows XP may be old but still powers roughly 1% of all desktop and laptop computers worldwide.
Microsoft Windows XP may be a 19-year old operating system, but it is still used by many in the world. Hence, it is quite shocking that its source code along with the source code of Windows Server 2003 has been allegedly leaked online in a torrent file.
According to reports, part of the torrent file is the source code files of the original Xbox operating system and Windows NT 3.5, which was leaked online in May 2020, Microsoft’s Windows CE operating systems, MS-DOS, several Windows 10 components leaked back in 2017, and a media files folder on conspiracy theories about Bill Gates.
The 5.89 GB worth of data was part of a torrent file uploaded on a bulletin board website called 4chan. It is the very first time when the source code of a Microsoft operating system is leaked online. However, the company does offer an exclusive Government Security Program under which it allows governments and organizations to access source code files and technical content of its products.
See: Source code of over 50 high profile organizations leaked online
Hackread.com can confirm that the alleged source code is now being circulated on several hacking and cybercriminals forums.
The person who leaked these files goes by the name of “billgates3” and claims that it took several months to compile the source codes.
Moreover, they claim that source code files of several other versions of Windows operating systems had been exchanged by hackers for years, and now they decided to share the code with the public to make it accessible to everyone.
“I believe information should be free and available to everyone, and hoarding information for oneself and keeping it secret is an evil act in my opinion,” stated “billgates3.”
It isn’t clear how much of the Windows XP source code is part of the leak, but a Windows internals expert has discovered Microsoft’s NetMeeting user certificate root signing keys.
Microsoft is yet to release an official statement to confirm or deny the leak. The company stated that it is still investigating the incident. However, many independent sources are verifying the legitimacy of the source code.
See: Source code of Cerberus banking trojan released online for free
The leak may not pose a significant threat to users or organizations running Windows XP. Microsoft ended support for this OS back in 2014 but did respond to the WannaCry malware attack in 2017 by releasing a patch for Windows XP.