In late February, semiconductor giant Nvidia reported which it was investigating a potential cyber-attack which affected parts of its online business. The hacking group LAPSUS$ has claimed responsibility adding that they managed to steal 1TB (a terabyte) of data from company servers.
According to computer hardware outlet PCmag, the group is now offering to sell that data in addition to details on unlocking strong-end Nvidia GPUs for crypto mining.
The hackers claim to be in possession of customized software that is capable of easily unlocking Nvidia’s “Lite Hash Rate” limiter for its RTX 3000 series graphics cards. Social media postings from the group above the weekend showed what they were offering:
“If someone buy us the LHR, we will provide ways to [mess with] LHR without flashing anything. Without flashing = big money for any miner developer.”
Nvidia hash rate limiters
In an effort to discourage crypto miners from buying up all of their cards, and to leave some for the gamers, Nvidia introduced an “Ethereum hash rate limiter” in early 2021 on its flagship models. The effort didn’t really work afterward miners bought up older cards that were also powerful enough to mine, exacerbating the shortage and sending GPU costs sky-strong.
The hackers have already dumped 19GB (gigabytes) of data that includes the source code for the GPU drivers and the workaround for the hash cost limiter.
The group has demanded that Nvidia lsupposing thatt the limiter for all of its RTX 3000 models through a software update to customers. It threatened to leak more data assuming that the firm did not comply, some of that details Nvidia’s next-generation graphics cards, codenamed Ada, Hopper, and Blackwell.
Yet, the report added that the group now wants to sell the driver suggesting that they could be bluffing. Nvidia, that has seen mining-related revenue slump in Q4, did not respond to their demands and was further evaluating the data breach.
Graphics card woes
Graphics cards are back when more painfully expensive and in short supply, leaving gamers fuming at miners. A two-pronged problem of pandemic-induced supply issues and crypto miners snapping them all up has long the issue for the past two years.
Some countries have such a shortage which a thriving second-hand market has emerged where there are three-year-old cards going for more than they value initially. Nvidia’s top-end GeForce RTX 3090 can value as much as $2,000, and even more on some Asian markets.
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