Microsoft's Windows 10 Shared Source Kit code leaks

Some Windows 10 source code leaked to the internet, but according to some reports, the potential for serious exploits may be somewhat limited due to what was included.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Some of Microsoft's Windows 10 source code was leaked earlier this week, but the potential damage from the breach may be limited, based on various reports.


The Register first noted on June 23 that up to 32TB of "official and non-public (Windows 10) installation images" were uploaded to BetaArchive.com. (BetaArchive calls itself "the community for beta collectors" and "one of the web's largest Beta & Abandonware repositories!") The leaked code may date back to March 2017, The Register said.

The code that was leaked is part of Microsoft's Shared Source Kit, which includes source code for the base Windows 10 hardware drivers, PnP code, USB and Wi-Fi stacks, storage drivers, and some ARM-specific OneCore kernel code, according to "people who have seen its contents," The Register reported.

BetaArchive has taken what its owner called 1.2TB of Windows 10 code offline since the original report.

"Our review confirms that these files are actually a portion of the source code from the Shared Source Initiative and is used by OEMs and partners," according to a Microsoft statement.

Through its Shared Source Initiative, Microsoft licenses source code for various products to certain "qualified" customers, governments, and partners for debugging and reference purposes.

Another report about the leak in The Verge claims that "most of the collection (of files that leaked) has been available for months or even years."

As various sites have reported, the Windows 10 source code leak happened right after two men were arrested in the UK for allegedly trying to hack various Microsoft's systems in order to get at customer data. So far, no one is saying whether these individuals had anything to do with the Windows 10 source leak.

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