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Source code for multiple Windows operating systems leaks publicly

Microsoft has struggled with a number of serious leaks over the past few years, including everything from bits of Windows 10 source code in 2017 to a Bing app server that recently had several terabytes of GPS data for more than a week and user searches have been leaked. Additionally, a ~ 43GB archive of Microsoft source code, including Windows XP (with Service Pack 1

) and Windows Server 2003 operating systems, appears to have been leaked along with a number of older operating systems, including some versions of Windows CE and MS -DOS.

Both Windows XP SP1 and Windows Server 2003 have been EOL for a long time. Current estimates put Windows XP’s market share at around 1.26% (and falling). The share of Windows Server 2003 in the connected servers is even lower and is now estimated at approx. The source code for these publicly leaking operating systems makes it technically possible to find new exploits that could open up systems running the operating system to new attacks. In reality, however, the risk is minimal for a number of reasons.

Nefarious hackers and crackers usually have high quality targets, and many high quality targets are unlikely to be running these legacy operating systems. Hackers also tend to have bigger goals – a combined (estimated) market share of less than 2% is hardly a big goal. After all, the source code for Windows XP has been available to some third-party providers for a long time. And it is likely that this code was archived by many entities that should not have had access. A public leak like this is, of course, a much more serious problem, but it’s still unlikely to cause any major problems.

However, there is a chance the leak could reveal new exploits for Windows 10. Although Windows 10 is a long way from Windows XP, some of the DNA of XP remains in Microsoft’s current operating system to ensure backward compatibility with older applications. In this respect, it is technically possible to find new exploits. However, it is highly unlikely.

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