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Alleged Windows XP source code leaked, spread on 4chan

Windows XP Bliss
Windows XP Bliss (Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • Alleged Windows XP source code has leaked online.
  • The leak spread via 4chan, where posters shared download links.
  • Windows XP officially reached its end-of-life date in 2014.

Alleged source code for Windows XP leaked online this week. The leak was spread in a thread on the anonymous forum 4chan, which linked to archives of both the alleged Windows XP source code along with source code for other Microsoft products. Notably, the archive includes the Windows NT 3.5 and original Xbox source code dumps that appeared online in May.

Though there was debate among 4chan posters over the legitimacy of the leak, some security researchers have begun digging into the code and have spoken to its veracity. That could change as researchers dig deeper.

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"We are investigating the matter," a Microsoft spokesperson told Windows Central in a statement.

If the leak is legitimate, it could expose any remaining Windows XP-based systems to new attacks. However, Microsoft hasn't supported Windows XP in any meaningful way since it reached its end-of-support date in 2014, which marked the end of security updates for the aging operating system. Still, according to the latest data from NetMarketShare, Windows XP PCs account for roughly 1.26 percent of PCs that generate web traffic around the world.

Interestingly, while this would be the first time Windows XP source code has gone public, Microsoft already shares its code with governments and university researchers around the world. As noted by SwiftOnSecurity, Microsoft has had a program in place since 2001 to share its source code with governments and institutions as a way to independently provide a check on the security of its software.

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Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to daniel.thorp-lancaster@futurenet.com.

8 Comments
  • Kinda curious what comes out of this
  • The evil of mankind.
  • Probably a line of code with the comment, "This is where we kill off Chrome and Firefox, bwahahaha!"
  • Interesting. Now the skilled coders can start developing a proper operating system again.
  • They already have - its called Linux
  • The last push by MS to force the rest of Windows XP users to upgrade, nicely done MS..........you bunch of crooks.
  • That is a very deep conspiracy theory, worst is calling them names ".you bunch of crooks." already for what YOU can not prove. Here is logic thought, the article states that there is ~1.26% WinXP based on stat counter, If you are MSFT and devious as YOU claimed MSFT is, would you throw such a catastrophic tantrum to get 1.26% of users to buy Win10 when you know bulk licensing is your bread and butter from OEM and enterprise for your Os.
  • Microsoft gave source code to channel partners including Compaq/HP. I was the custodian for AU at one time. It's not like you could steal it and rebrand. Who would want MS lawyers chasing you? XP is 20yo next year. Its a fossil.