A hacking group that claims to have infiltrated Nvidia's servers is trying to sell some data, including a way to unlock graphics cards used for ethereum mining.
In late February, semiconductor giant Nvidia reported that it was investigating a potential cyberattack that affected some of its online operations. Hacker group LAPSUS$ claimed responsibility, adding that they managed to steal one terabyte (1 TB) of data from the company's servers.
According to computer hardware outlet PCmag, the organization is now offering to sell this data as well as details on unlocking high-end Nvidia GPUs used for cryptocurrency mining.
The hackers claim to have custom software that can easily unlock the "Lite Hash Rate" limiter on Nvidia RTX 3000 series graphics cards. The group's social media posts over the weekend show what they have to offer.
“If someone buys LHR from us, we will provide the method [mess with] LHR without flashing anything. No bricking required = big bucks for any miner developer.”
NVIDIA Hash Rate Limiter
In an effort to stop cryptocurrency miners from buying all their cards and leaving some for gamers, Nvidia introduced an "ethereum hash rate limiter" on its flagship model in early 2021. The effort didn't really work, as miners bought older cards that were still powerful enough to mine, exacerbating the shortage and causing GPU prices to skyrocket.
Hackers have plummeted 19GB (gigabytes) of data, including the source code for the GPU driver and a solution for the hash rate limiter.
The organization has asked Nvidia to lift the limiter on all its RTX 3000 models by updating the software to customers. If the company doesn't comply, it's threatening to leak more data, some of which details Nvidia's next-generation graphics cards, codenamed Ada, Hopper and Blackwell.
However, the report adds that the group now wants to sell the drivers, suggesting that they may be bluffing. Nvidia, which saw a decline in revenue related to mining in the fourth quarter, did not respond to their request and is still evaluating the data breach.
Video card problems
Graphics cards are still very expensive and in short supply, leaving gamers fuming at miners. The twin problems of pandemic-induced supply issues and cryptocurrency miners snapping them up have prolonged the problem over the past two years.
There is such a shortage in some countries that there is a booming secondary market where cards from three years ago are selling for more than their original price. Nvidia's high-end GeForce RTX 3090 sells for as much as $2,000, and even more in some Asian markets.
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