A couple of days ago we reported that – allegedly – the Windows XP Source Code (and Windows Server 2003 for that matter) had been leaked online by way of a torrent posted on 4chan.
Now security aficionado and part time youtuber NTDEV has managed to compile the source code for both operating systems and was able to use them as a working operating system.
Obviusly it wasn’t a perfect job – since it was posted only a few days after the leak – and the final compile of Windows XP is missing a few components (for example Winlogon.exe) that prevent the OS from being distributed as a fully-working Windows replacement, but there is room for additional alterations that could lead to full ‘retail’ versions of the operating system.
When it comes to the Windows server 2003 source code, NTDEV had more success and was able to compile the operating system and install it into a virtual machine.
Windows XP Source Code: should we be worried?
But this experiment has risen a few concerns.
First of all, the authenticity of the Windows XP Source Code leak has been without a shadow of a doubt confirmed.
This means that researchers and hackers alike can now take a deeper look inside Windows to understand the inner workings of the operating system.
Obviously this is good news and bad news. On one hand it could be and incredible learning opportunity for coders, researchers and developers.
On the other, even if it should have been binned years ago, Windows XP – and to an extent Windows server 2003 – are still wildly popular and used everywhere from ATM machines to airport infrastructure and even hospitals.
Then again, Windows XP is already full of zero-days and exploits, maybe a few more wouldn’t change the fact that you shouldn’t be using it anyway.
By the way if you wanted to see NTDEV videos on the matter, unfortunately at the moment the content detailing the process has been copyright claimed by Microsoft, so we can’t give you a link.
But as they always say: where there’s a will there’s a way…