Towards that end of September, a 42.9 GB torrent file was shared on 4chan, a message board mostly frequented by trolls and extremists that claimed to contain source code for Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and other Microsoft operating systems.
The source codes for these operating systems were infused with other conspiracy theories about Bill Gates that were consistent with some of the wacky conspiracy peddled by QAnon. At face value, these source codes seemed inauthentic due to the location where they were posted and the accompanying conspiracy theories.
Windows XP leak
However, as developers started diving in on these source files, they began to notice that the Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and other Microsoft operating systems leaks may be genuine after all.
Unless Microsft clarified that the source codes were authentic, there was only one other way of finding out if these files were genuine, compiling them. That is precisely what a user who goes by the name NTDEV did on his Youtube channel, he compiled the source codes.
NTDEV said that rather than waiting for Microsoft’s official confirmation that the files were genuine, he decided to compile them. Although he is an amateur IT technician based in the US, he successfully compiled Windows XP code last weekend. He also indicated that he had also managed to compile Windows Server 2003 sources this week and indicated that the files had been authentic.
NTDEV said that the files were actually authentic, and also confirmed what many Microsoft engineers, both current and former, had said about the files, that they were incomplete.
NTDEV noted that for Windows XP, the files were missing some key components with Windows XP missing the Winlogon, files and drivers. However, the compiled parts proved that it was a genuine operating system that had been put in the market.
As for the security risk, this leak posed, experts agreed that the risks were minimal since only about 1 percent of Windows users use XP after the support was discontinued. It has also disappeared from the radar of malware developers, hence the leaks will not do damage to the security of the Microsoft systems.
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