Windows XP source code was accidentally published in a thread on the 4chan forum: what are the risks
Microsoft is facing a mistake that could have serious consequences. The source code of Windows XP was published in a post on the 4chan forum and for four hours users were able to download it via Torrent or via Mega file sharing.
The retirement of Windows XP provides that the developers of the Redmond-based company will no longer develop since 2014 updates for compatibility with the new hardware produced, nor security patches. The publication of the source code of Microsoft's operating system, remembered for the famous green hills of the "Iconic Bliss" background, is not an immediate danger, since it is installed on only 1% of PCs in circulation worldwide. However, hackers could use it to create new methods of attack on the more modern Windows 10, with consequences that cannot be predicted at the moment.
Windows XP source code revealed
The Windows XP source code appeared in a 4chan forum thread on September 24 and remained online for just 4 hours. At first, many users thought it was one of the many fakes on the net, but they were wrong. By analyzing the code, some researchers confirmed that it was indeed the one of the operating system released 19 years ago by Microsoft.
Although the file has been removed, there are potentially a lot of users who had the opportunity to download it since then, either via Torrent or through the file sharing site Mega.
Windows XP unveiled: what are the risks
Since 2014, the Redmond company has removed support for Windows XP. This implies that no security updates have been released for 6 years now, let alone compatibility updates with the new hardware devices developed during this time.
And besides, the PCs that still use the operating system that accompanied us with its "Iconic Bliss" hill, are very few and the risk of direct attacks on devices is low. Users who still use Windows XP are therefore advised to be very careful, because there are no plans to release security patches to solve any problems.
What worries, however, is something else: the source code of Windows XP could contain clues about the algorithms used by Microsoft even in more recent versions of the operating system, such as Windows 10. The fear is therefore that malicious hackers can over time exploit the source code to develop new methods to attack the operating system of the Redmond company.
The comment of Microsoft
While the network wonders about the possible consequences of the leak of the Windows XP code, dividing between those who are sure it is a risky thing and those who do not believe it at all, after the spread of the news came the official comment of Microsoft. A few words, but significant: Microsoft, in fact, has neither denied nor confirmed that the fact that thousands of hackers are now able to obtain a copy of the Windows XP code could be a problem. What is certain, though, is that making an estimate of source code downloads is completely impossible.