Security

Windows XP Source Code Shared Through Torrent on 4chan Forum

By Bill Toulas / September 25, 2020

According to unconfirmed reports, someone on the 4chan forums has shared a torrent that points to a collection of 43GB of size. In there, there are various Microsoft-related things, which allegedly are the products of a breach.

The different folders contain the source code of Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, MS-DOS 3.30, MS-DOS 6.0, Windows 2000, CE3-CE5, and the Windows NT 3.5 and 4. The user who posted the torrent claims that the Windows XP source code has been privately shared in the dark web for years already, but this is the first “public” leak.

xp-source-code-torrent

Source: Bleeping Computer

While Microsoft hasn’t confirmed this, the files appear to be the source code of Windows XP. It is possible, though, that this is just a collection of legit Microsoft disclosures shared with developers. The fact that the torrent also includes a folder containing videos of Bill Gates themed conspiracy theories isn’t helping in adding legitimacy to this.

Back in May, the data broker known as “Shiny Hunters” claimed that it had 500 GB of valuable source code from a hack of Microsoft’s private GitHub repositories. The person leaked samples of this online but failed to convince that he had the real deal.

Later in the same month, someone leaked the source code of the original Xbox and also Windows NT 3.5. That one wasn’t confirmed by Microsoft again, and the matter remained stuck at the “we are aware of the reports and we are investigating” stage.

Even if the Windows XP source code leaked, does this mean that the Windows 10 users should care about it? The answer is “it depends.” If Microsoft is still using stuff that survived two decades and four major OS upgrades, then yes, you should care about it. That would mean hackers could dig in the code, reverse engineer stuff to locate potentially exploitable bugs, and generally discover points of weakness on current Microsoft products.

Related: The Upcoming Windows 10 Start Menu Is Looking Sleek

If the leaker is truthful about the fact that the Windows XP source code has been shared among hackers for quite a few years now, there shouldn’t be much left to discover now. As for those still stuck using the old OS, this leak hardly makes the situation any worse for them. Statscounter.com reports 0.82% of the Windows market share going to Windows XP, while w3schools.com gives it 0.1%. This means there’s a respectable number of computers connected to the internet that are still running the Microsoft “classic” today.



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