MICROSOFT HAS admitted that huge swathes of Windows source code have been stolen by a member of Beta Archive.
Files that are responsible for Microsoft's USB, storage and WiFi drivers in its flagship Windows 10 operating system were posted to Beta Archive this week.
The community is a code-sharing site offering access to an archive of Windows builds in return for contributions, but this time they got gifted the mother lode.
The code in question is from Microsoft's Shared Source Kit, which is available to OEMs anyway, and Microsoft says relatively little is new, though El Reg has said it believes the figure to be more like 32TB.
Included in the leak were some builds of Windows 10 Creators Update (that thing that most of us are still waiting for), some early ARM builds of Windows 10 as we move closer to Continuum, and the Microsoft Windows 10 Mobile Adaption Kit.
The code has since been removed. According to The Verge, this decision was taken by Beta Archive, not because of any pressure from Microsoft.
It's all a bit embarrassing nonetheless. Whilst things are still up in the air, it's not entirely clear if this stolen code could be used to create exploits. After all, one of the pillars of Windows source code is that it is kept closed so it's less hackable - a policy that seems to have worked about as well as a magnesium tea bag.
It also reflects the need to ask a question - how did this happen? Is Microsoft more vulnerable that we thought?
All this comes in the wake of two Brits who were arrested last week by the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit (SEROCU) for "computer misuse act offences", to whit breaking into Redmond's systems between January and March.
It's not clear if the two events are connected, though given that this all happened after the arrests, it would have to mean there's a bigger gang involved, or this is a separate incident. µ
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