Reports indicate that the source code for Microsoft’s 19-year-old Windows XP operating system (and other versions) has been leaked online. The 43GB data dump, publish as a torrent file on bulletin board website 4chan, is said to compiled by the leaker in the past few months.
The collection also includes source code for Windows 2000 and multiple versions of Windows CE, MS-DOS, Windows Embedded, and Windows NT – but all have a modern setup base smaller than XP. The person responsible for the leak also holds a separate grudge against Bill Gates. Separating part of the torrent file into videos that slander the Microsoft founder.
The legitimacy of the leaked code has not yet confirmed, but Microsoft has been notified of this issue.
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Windows XP source code
Until last month, 1.26% of all laptops and desktops worldwide still used XP. A higher proportion than Microsoft operating systems much younger than Windows 8 (0.57%) and Windows Vista (0.12%).
Estimates show that there are now more than a billion computers roaming around the world. Which, if true, means that 25.2 million computers continue to work in Windows XP.
With access to source code, it becomes much easier for cybercriminals to identify security vulnerabilityes in the operating system. In other words, with Windows XP source code published online, millions of computers are now at risk of even greater attacks.
Also, if cracks in security armor identifying in Windows XP source code. The same code recycled and distributed on newer operating systems (such as Windows 10) and may therefore expose to the same vulnerability.
However, according to the person responsible for the source code leak, Windows XP source code has been circulating in hacking communities for years.
If true, it may be safe to assume that the code is already being review for potential weaknesses. And therefore hackers are less likely to identify significant new opportunities as a result of the public leak.