Nvidia, the maker of graphics cards, among other things, has been hacked. The perpetrators demand that the company make its cards usable again to mine crypto coins quickly. Otherwise, sensitive information will be leaked.
Earlier this week, it was reported that Nvidia was investigating an ‘incident’, which forced the systems to be shut down for a few days. It soon turned out to be a hack of February 23, during which sensitive data was stolen.
The company, meanwhile, has admitted to leaking online employee logins and other information. The source appears to lie with the criminal group Lapsus$, which claims to have stolen about a terabyte of sensitive data. This would also include schematics and source code for drivers and firmware. Some of that information has already been leaked online, possibly to prove the group has it, but Lapsus$ is now threatening to release even more information unless Nvidia complies with their demands.
And those demands are a bit crazy. The group does not want a classic ransom but demands that Nvidia make its graphics cards open source drivers. In a message on Telegram, a spokesperson for the group also asks that Nvidia turn off the cards ‘Lite Hash Rate’ function. Therefore, the ultimate goal seems to be to ensure that the cards can again mine crypto coins faster.
The “Lite Hash Rate” was introduced by Nvidia last year to deter crypto miners and somewhat stabilize the graphics card market. Graphics cards can perform parallel calculations very quickly and are very good at processing data for rendering images in a video game. However, they are also very suitable for blockchain calculations, particularly popular in crypto mining circles.
As a result, there have been major shortages in the graphics card market for months. Nvidia wants to make these cards less attractive in crypto circles by halving the hash rate for specific calculations while gamers can still get started with them. So the idea is that gamers get the chance to hold such a card again for a more or less affordable price.
In an extortion report that will undoubtedly restore the reputation of all things crypto, the criminal group is now demanding that that function (which was installed via a firmware update) be rolled back. Nvidia, for its part, has not yet responded to the demands. Instead, it said in a statement that it had upgraded its security and had contacted the police.