REDMOND, Wash., Updated Feb. 18, 2004 -- On Thursday, February 12, Microsoft became aware that portions of the Microsoft Windows 2000 and Windows NT 4.0 source code were illegally made available on the Internet. Subsequent investigation has shown this was not the result of any breach of Microsoft's corporate network or internal security, nor is it related to Microsoft's Shared Source Initiative or its Government Security Program, which enable our customers and partners, as well as governments, to legally access Microsoft source code. Microsoft reaffirms its support for both the Shared Source Initiative and the Government Security Program.
Microsoft continues to work closely with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and other law enforcement authorities on this matter. Microsoft source code is both copyrighted and protected as a trade secret. As such, it is illegal to post it, make it available to others, download it or use it. Microsoft will take all appropriate legal actions to protect its intellectual property. These actions include communicating both directly and indirectly with those who possess or seek to possess, post, download or share the illegally disclosed source code. Specifically, Microsoft is sending letters explaining to individuals who have already downloaded the source code that such actions are in violation of the law. Additionally, Microsoft has instituted the use of alerts on several peer-to-peer clients where such illegal sharing of the source code has taken place. These alerts are designed to inform any user who conducts specific searches on these networks to locate and download the source code that such activity is illegal.
Questions about the ongoing investigation should be referred to the FBI. On Monday, February 16, Microsoft began investigating a reported exploit on versions of Internet Explorer allegedly discovered by an individual studying the leaked source code. This exploit is a known issue that Microsoft had discovered internally and addressed with the latest release of Internet Explorer -- Internet Explorer 6.0 Service Pack 1.
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News source: MS Presspass