The entire source code for Windows XP, Microsoft’s previous most popular desktop operating system, has apparently leaked online recently. As if that wasn’t enough, Microsoft’s source code for Windows Server 2003 is also included in the leaked torrent files.
The Verge has verified the material is legitimate.
Should people who are still running Windows XP be concerned about this leak? And is it a threat to companies who Maya still use Windows XP machines? In a word, no.
Microsoft ended support for Windows XP in 2014, although the company responded to the massive WannaCry malware attack with a highly unusual Windows XP patch in 2017. While this is the first time Windows XP source code has appeared publicly, Microsoft does run a special Government Security Program (GSP) that allows governments and organizations controlled access to source code and other technical content.
It’s not immediately clear how much of the Windows XP source code is included in this leak, but one Windows internals expert has already found Microsoft’s NetMeeting user certificate root signing keys.
And now for the bizarre part:
Parts of the source code leak also reference Microsoft’s Windows CE operating systems, MS-DOS, and other leaked Microsoft material. Bizarrely, the files also include references to Bill Gates conspiracy theories, in a clear attempt to spread misinformation.
Previous Microsoft leaks include 1GB of Windows 10 source code, various Xbox source code leaks and even a Windows NT 3.5 source code dump as recently as May of this year.