Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 have just made a resurgence, but for reasons that Microsoft won’t be happy about. The source code for both of these dead-and-buried operating systems (which reached end of life on April 19, 2009 and July 13, 2010, respectively) have leaked online and are readily accessible via torrent sites and file hosts such as Mega.nz.
Users on 4channel’s /g/ were some of the first to spread information regarding the leak, but increasing media outlets are confirming that Windows XP and Windows Server 2003’s source is out in the wild. “The Verge has verified the material is legitimate, and a Microsoft spokesperson tells us that the company is ‘investigating the matter,’ the site wrote.
As many of you are probably aware, the leak of proprietary source code comes with security implications – severe ones, potentially. But with Windows XP being a legacy OS boasting less than 2 percent market share, we’re guessing that attackers are in no rush to do anything nefarious any time soon.
There may also be implications for ReactOS, a free and open-source operating system that looks and functions just like Windows XP. The source code may lead the way to an even more authentic copy of the original OS, but it could also invite the fury of Microsoft’s lawyers if anyone happens to dig out any interesting consistencies in ReactOS’s code.