Windows XP source code was probably leaked to the network

Windows XP source code was probably leaked to the network

Source code for several operating systems, including Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, leaked to 4chan as a 42.9 gb torrent file

The content of this torrent file includes source code for several older Microsoft operating systems, such as Windows 2000, Embedded (CE 3, CE 4, CE 5, CE, 7), Windows NT (3.5 and 4), XP and Server. 2003, this reports ZDNet.



The files also contained the source code for the first Xbox operating system, MS-DOS (3.30 and 6), and the source code for various components of Windows 10.

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Although Microsoft has not yet confirmed the leak, several Windows experts who analyzed the files said that they look realistic, but underestimated the importance of the leak.

Many of the files that leaked this week were actually walking around the network a few years before, and the leak seems to be a set of previous leaks.



For example, the source code for some Windows 10 components leaked to the web in 2017, and the Xbox and Windows NT files in beginning this year . Other leaks are even older and have been on the forums since the early 2010s.

The only new items that seem to have leaked this week are the source code for Windows XP, Server 2003, and Windows 2000.

The leak author claims that many packets with OS source code were copied and exchanged privately by data brokers.

IT specialists told ZDNet that the source code of such operating systems was never completely private, but was simply closed. They also believe that the files were leaked from academia.

Microsoft has historically provided access to the source code of its operating systems to governments around the world for security audits and academic groups for research.

A leak is news to the general public, but not a surprise to scientists and software developers.

“All these files have existed for many years,” wrote a user of the HakerNews aggregator. “Especially the WRK [Windows Research Kernel], which anyone with a .edu [email account] can already download,”

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In addition, there are other problems with this week’s leak, which many have called trik.

The reason is that the leak was exposed at 4chan, the site of regular meetings of QAnon, an extreme right group that shares stupid conspiracy theories on the Internet. The leaked torrent file was filled with an assortment of videos promoting various Bill Gates conspiracy theories that coincide with some of QAnon’s plans.

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Trick or not, the leaked files seem realistic. However, it is still unclear whether there are enough files to allow users to compile XP or Server 2003 and download it, or whether there are no different parts of the files.

It is likely to take a few days to figure this out, unless Microsoft decides to clarify it by making a statement.

Some news sites also loudly promote the theory that XP source code leaked to the network puts operating system users at risk from malware authors.

But let’s be honest, XP users have been “in danger” since Microsoft stopped supporting this operating system. With a market share of about 1% of the total user base, Windows XP is not as attractive to malware developers as it used to be. No cybercriminal would invest so much effort in a source code audit a decade ago to find vulnerabilities with so little return.

 

Source



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