Source code leaks
Source code leaks are usually caused by misconfiguration of software like
FTP which allow people to get source files by exploiting, by software
bugs, or by employees that have access to the sources of part of them revealing the code in order to harm the company.
There were many cases of source code leaks in the history of software development.
For instance, as
Fraunhofer IIS released in 1994 only a low quality version of their
MP3 encoding software (
l3enc), a hacker named SoloH gathered the
source code from the unprotected servers of the
University of Erlangen and developed a higher quality version, which started the MP3 revolution on the internet.
Electronic Arts accidentally put the source code of
FIFA 97 on a demo disc.
In 2003 a
hacker exploited a security hole in
Outlook to get the complete source of the video game
Half-Life 2, which was under development at the time.
 The complete source was soon available in various
file sharing networks. This leak was rumored to be the cause of the game's delay,
 but later was stated not to be.
Also in 2003, source code to
Diebold Election Systems Inc.
voting machines was leaked. Researchers at
Johns Hopkins University and
Rice University published a damning critique of Diebold's products, based on an analysis of the software. They found, for example, that it would be easy to program a counterfeit voting card to work with the machines and then use it to cast multiple votes inside the voting booth.
In 2003 a Chinese Hacker acquired the
Lineage II source code, and sold it to someone who set up alternative servers. Shutdown by
FBI in 2007.
In 2003, one year after
3dfx was bought by
Nvidia and support ended, the source code for their drivers leaked,
 resulting in
fan-made, updated drivers.
Another case in 2004 involved a partial leak of the source code to
 Two files containing Microsoft source code were circulating on the Internet. One contains a majority of the
NT4 source code and the other contains a fraction of the Windows 2000 source code, reportedly about 15% of the total. This includes some networking code including
Winsock and inet; as well as some shell code. It was feared that because of the leak, the number of security
exploits would increase due to wider scrutiny of the source code. It was later discovered that the source of the leak originated from
In 2004, partial (800 MB) proprietary source code that drives
Cisco Systems' networking hardware was made available in the internet. The site posted two files of source code written in the
C programming language, which apparently enables some next-generation
IPv6 functionality. News of the latest source code leak appeared on a Russian security site.
Anonymous hackers stole source code (about 1 GiB) for
pcAnywhere from the company's network. While confirmed in January 2012, it is still unclear how the hackers accessed the network.
In late 2007, the source code of
Norton Ghost 12 and a
Norton Anti-Spyware version were available via
In December 2007 and January 8, a
SQL products via BitTorrent.
In January 2011 the "stolen source code" of
Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2008 was published on the Pirate Bay.
On May 20, 2011,
source code was published by someone on a
 After being online for four days CCP issued a
DMCA take-down request which was followed by GitHub.
In 2011 the
source code of
GunZ: The Duel v1.5
became available online.
In December 2011, the source code of the
Solaris 11 operating system was available via BitTorrent.
In August 2014
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky's
source code (and its successor) became available on
GitHub under a non-
On December 29, 2015 the
AmigaOS 3.1 source code leaked to the web, confirmed by the rights holder
In January 2017 the source code of Opera's
Presto Browser engine was leaked to Github.
 The source code was shortly after taken down with a DMCA notice.
In June 2017 part of Microsofts'
Windows 10 source code leaked to the public.
End-of-life leaks by developers
Sometimes software developers themselves will leak their source code in an effort to prevent a software product from becoming
abandonware after it has reached its
end-of-life, allowing the community to continue development and support. Reasons for leaking instead of a proper release to
public domain or as
open source can include scattered or lost
intellectual property rights. An example is the
 which became available in 2000; another one is
Dark Reign 2,
 which was released by an anonymous former
Pandemic Studios developer in 2011. Another notable example is an archive of
Infocom's video games
source code which appeared from an anonymous Infocom source and was archived by the
Internet Archive in 2008.