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Windows XP code now widely available, but still via unofficial channels

Generic Windows XP computer, leaked code widely available September 2020
Generic Windows XP computer
Although the latest statistics show its usage below 1 percent worldwide, the now ancient Windows XP is still being used by almost two times as many people as the more recent Windows Vista. However, the fact that the leaked code became widely available this week through Mega, 4Chan, and other sources, should make anyone think twice before going online with it.

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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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 09 > Windows XP code now widely available, but still via unofficial channels
Codrut Nistor, 2020-09-26 (Update: 2020-09-26)