The suspected source code of Microsoft operating system Windows XP has appeared online, reports Bleeping Computer Friday.
Lek gives an idea of the architecture behind Windows XP
The data file has a total size of 43 gigabytes and is placed on the internet forum 4chan by an anonymous person. In addition to the source code of Windows XP, old versions of MS DOS, Windows 2000, CE, Embedded and NT could also be found.
According to the data poster, the Windows XP source files have been in the hands of hackers for years. However, this is the first time that the data has been publicly shared.
It is difficult to verify the authenticity of the files. Microsoft has not yet commented on the alleged leak.
A source code shows the original programming language behind software. That was not possible with the final software released for customers. The leak gives an idea of what exactly the architecture behind Windows XP looks like.
The Windows XP vulnerability can provide new insights into how Windows XP works. This also entails potential risks: cyber criminals could, for example, discover new holes in the software to exploit.
Microsoft has been recommending Windows XP users to upgrade for a long time because the operating system has not been supported for years. Therefore, the company does not release updates for security vulnerabilities discovered in recent years.
According to Bleeping Computer the source code can also be used to find vulnerabilities in Windows 10, but only if Microsoft still uses the same code in programs. It is not yet known whether this is the case.