Last week was a nightmare for the top executives of the world’s largest software company Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT). In a shocking incident, a chunk of the source code of Windows 10 was leaked online. The data, which consisted of non-public installation image and software blueprints, was made available for anyone to download from betaarchive.com.
Initially, the potential of the leaked source code of Windows 10 was measured to be massive. Later Microsoft confirmed that the leak is much smaller than it was analysed and much of the data was already available.
The leaked source code of Windows 10 was a part of the Shared Source Kit, which is generally available to partners, beta testers and governments who intend to make their infrastructure and other tools compatible before the launch of any new OS.
Betatster.com has already pulled down all the codes related to Shared Source Kit from the server. The company also claims that though Microsoft didn’t force them to remove the code, the decision is taken on their own.
Microsoft, however, doesn’t seem too worried about the incident now. Besides, the company is also trying to downplay the whole incident as it’s the second time in the history of Microsoft when the source code of any of its OS is leaked. In February 2004, Microsoft had to face the similar situation when the source code of Windows 2000 and Windows NT were reportedly leaked.
Despite Microsoft’s claim, the leaked code of Windows 10 could cause serious consequences for the Windows 10 users. The incident has taken place at the time when computer has become a part of people’s daily life and the economy of most of the countries – developing and developed both – is based on digital data being produced on Windows 10 powered computer machines. Though the data is pulled down by Beta Archive, it’s unclear who all have downloaded the kit by now.
The leaked source code of Windows 10, which was originally restricted to legitimate partners, is now sitting on hundreds of thousands of personal computers and, may be, getting used for various types of testings. Undoubtedly, hackers would try to make the most of it by understanding the architecture and processes of code as much as possible, only to create the exploits of Windows 10.
In the past, Microsoft pursued aggressively against the hackers, which also includes the scanning of Hotmail account of a blogger. Despite all such efforts, the ghost of leaks has been hunting Microsoft for long. Windows 2000, Windows NT, Windows 8 and now Windows 10, Microsoft has been trying hard to keep its OS away from all vulnerability. But, thanks to its beta testers program, the early copies of an OS is made to available to these testers, which could be the roots of such leaks.