The code appears in a Microsoft program designed to work with Linux software. The code was discovered by a hacker called Paolo Bonzini, who posted a message on a mailing list
The code is a hexadecimal string which reads "0xB16B00B5", or, if you read it carefully, 'big boobs'. It is intended to read this way because it is written in what is called 'leetspeak
', which is a communications tool where a user replaces letters for numbers or other characters.
The code was apparently placed in a command string as a joke by an errant computer programmer at Microsoft. According to Wired
, Microsoft is a major contributor to Linux.
Microsoft have recognized the code for its cheeky intent and have corrected it. In a statement to Network World
, Microsoft said: " We thank the community for reporting this issue and apologize for the offensive string. We have submitted a patch to fix this issue and the change will be published in a future release of the kernel".
According to Linux developer Matthew Garrett
, an earlier version of the code apparently ran "0x0B00B135" or, if you squint hard enough, 'boobies'.
It appears that the developers at Microsoft need to amuse themselves from time to time.