Source code of several older Windows versions, including Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, and Windows 2000, have been leaked online by a hacker on the 4Chan platform in the form of a torrent file.
The entire torrent file containing the source code is 43GB in size, and the person behind the alleged leak has been collecting and compiling leaked Microsoft source codes for the past two months.
For the uninitiated, source code is a set of human-readable instructions of a program before it is compiled. This pre-compiled version is often written in a text editor and then fed into a compiler to turn it into machine language. Most big tech companies safeguard their source codes by filing proprietary rights to them.
Users on 4Chan posted screenshots of the allegedly leaked source code of Windows XP and the iconic Bliss Background of the Windows operating system. In addition to the 43GB file, a file with 7zip extension containing the source code of Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 has spread on the internet by 4Chan users and Redditors and is now available as a torrent file on several platforms.
Here are the contents of the leaked file:
- MS DOS 3.30
- MS DOS 6.0
- Windows 2000
- Windows CE 3
- Windows CE 4
- Windows CE 5
- Windows Embedded 7
- Windows Embedded CE
- Windows NT 3.5
- Windows NT 4
In addition to the source code of Windows operating systems, the folder also contains documents with conspiracy theories related to Microsoft founder Bill Gates.
There is no way to guarantee whether the leaked source code is genuine or not. However, if it’s the original source code, there are chances that threat actors can reverse engineer it to find exploitable bugs. Moreover, anyone with the source code can create their own version of Windows XP which is a breach of the copyrighted software.