This article was published on September 25, 2020

Windows XP source code leaks online in the most unusual of places (it’s 4chan)

Leaks aren't what 4chan is notorious for, but here we go

Windows XP source code leaks online in the most unusual of places (it’s 4chan)

Microsoft probably won’t be happy about that. It seems the source code for Windows XP has leaked online.

In addition to Windows XP, the leak includes the source code for Windows Server 2003 and other Microsoft operating systems, ZDNet reports. Here’s where things get curious, though: the leak comes from 4chan, an online imageboard often associated with internet trolls and extremism.

The source code appeared in the form of a 42.9GB torrent file posted to the notorious forum. In addition to XP and Server 2003, the contents of the torrent include older operating systems like Windows 2000, Embedded (CE 3, CE 4, CE 5, CE, 7), Windows NT (3.5 and 4).

There’s also files from Microsoft’s very first OS, MS-DOS, as well as Windows 10, ZDNet adds.

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Microsoft has yet to address the leak, but experts have suggested the files appear to be authentic. Still, it’s worth noting many of the files leaked had already popped up online in the past, and the torrent file seems like a collection of previous items. The only newly leaked releases appear to be Windows XP, Server 2003, and Windows 2000.

Things get even more bizarre, though. The leak features a selection of QAnon propaganda videos peddling Bill Gates conspiracy theories — a detail that has led some to believe the whole thing stunt is an elaborate stunt.

We’ve reached out to Microsoft for comment and will update this piece accordingly if we hear back.

Update: A Microsoft spokesperson told TNW, “We are investigating the matter.”

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