Tech news site The Verge claims to have verified the material. And Microsoft said it was “investigating the matter”, according to reports.
The leak came with files containing bizarre misinformation related to Microsoft founder Bill Gates and various conspiracy theories. This is consistent with past leaks from 4chan, a site often associated with extremist content and internet trolls.
Using the name “billgates3”, the leaker reportedly said:
I created this torrent for the community, as I believe information should be free and available to everyone and hoarding information for oneself and keeping it secret is an evil act in my opinion.
If the leak is genuine, this won’t be the first time a Microsoft operating system source code was released online. At least 1GB of Windows 10 source code was leaked a few years ago, too.
Vulnerabilities in the source code
The source code is the “source” of a program. It’s essentially the list of instructions a computer programmer writes when they develop a program, which can then be understood by other programmers.
A leaked source code can make it easier for cyber criminals to find and exploit weaknesses and serious security flaws (such as bugs) in a program. It also makes it easier for them to craft malware (software designed to cause harm).
One example would be “rogue” security software trying to make you think your computer is infected by a virus and prompting you to download, or buy, a product to “remove” it. Instead, the download or purchase introduces a virus to your computer.