Windows XP code now widely available, but still via unofficial channels
Next month, Windows XP will hit adulthood — the venerable operating system had reached general availability back in late October of 2001. The final service pack, SP 3 5.1.2600, was released in April 2008. Six years later, extended support for it ended as well. At the end of August 2020, roughly 0.8% of all Windows PCs were still running it, but some countries still recorded dual-digit usage (see Armenia's incredible stats on this page).
If something works, there's no need to fix it, but there is a lot wrong with Windows XP in terms of security, and it soon could get worse. Earlier this week, Windows XP's source code surfaced online through multiple channels, including troll forum 4Chan, popular file-sharing service Mega, various forums, torrent trackers, and so on. This is not the first time it surfaces online — the code has been apparently available in various private circles for a while — but now it is much easier for any person with malicious intent to grab the code and work on creating new exploits to target the system's many vulnerabilities.
According to The Verge, Windows Server 2003 source code is also included in the archive. Strange enough, it looks like the source code comes next to some silly conspiracy theories that involve Bill Gates. 5G, coronavirus, vaccines, the part where he will put chips — with Windows preinstalled, of course — inside all of us, and so on. I am not a coder, but I would surely go hunt for that archive for the conspiracy theories alone.
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