Leaked Login Spreads XP, Floods MS Network
After Windows XP interim build 2469 arrived Friday, more than just testers were able to experience the beta. A leaked login to the tester-only Windows Beta Web site quickly surfaced, and spread like wild fire throughout IRC and over instant messenger. Sources confirmed the breached account was active for approximately seven hours, resulting in mass unauthorized downloads of private beta releases. The bandwidth strain is said to have crippled Redmond, forcing Microsoft to shut down the beta site and other services.
Windows Beta is the secure Web site where XP testers retreive the latest code from Microsoft. The site acts much like a front end to the previous NTBeta FTP site, allowing testers to browse directory structure and download ISO images of beta releases. Along with 2469, Friday's pirates were able to access Beta 2 build 2462 and interim build 2465, as well as documentation and special XP utilities.
Windows XP build 2469 marks the second interim release since Beta 2. It features improvements in networking, help and remote assistance, power management, and boot time. Microsoft has also added security to block remote authentication for users with blank passwords.
The account in question was closed late Friday night, and all access to Windows Beta was subsquently disabled. An error message read, "This site has encountered an error. The site administrators are aware of the issue."
Early reports indicate tens of thousands of downloads had occured via the leak, a number which is sure to grow exponentially over the next few days.
Microsoft was not available for comment at press time.