Nvidia hackers threaten to leak mining-limiter bypass algorithm, DLSS source code, more

Daniel Sims

Posts: 666   +27
Staff
In brief: Ever since Nvidia started shipping Ampere graphics cards with systems to limit cryptomining performance last year, miners have been trying to find ways around it. Last week's cyber attack on the GPU maker may have provided just what these users were searching for.

Update (Mar 1): According to the hackers, they are threatening to release even more confidential information they were able to gather from Nvidia's servers. The data wouldn't be just limited to the LHR mining caps, which are enforced at the firmware level, but they are claiming to have (and potentially release) more sensitive information like the source code of DLSS and information about Nvidia's next-generation GPUs codenamed Ada, Hopper, and Blackwell.

Leaked Telegram messages this week indicate the South American hacker group which recently attacked Nvidia has obtained the algorithm behind the company’s Light Hash Rate (LHR) mining caps. Lapsus$ claims to be selling a bypass, and is threatening to leak the algorithm if Nvidia doesn’t push a firmware update to remove the LHR.

If Lapsus$ isn’t bluffing, this could lead to a real circumvention of LHR just a week after another supposed unlocker was revealed to be a fraud laced with malware.

Over the weekend the group claimed to have stolen over a terabyte of Nvidia’s proprietary data and defended against Nvidia’s counter-ransomware attack. The data includes details about GPU firmware, drivers, and schematics. Lapsus$ has posted a partial leak already. Nvidia hasn’t said anything officially since brief statements it made to The Telegraph and Bloomberg last week.

On Friday, it admitted it was investigating an “incident,” and that its business was uninterrupted. Because the attack coincided with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, some feared there was a connection, but sources told Bloomberg that isn’t the case. Lapsus$ also claims it isn’t state-sponsored and that its operations aren’t politically motivated.

In January, Lapsus$ attacked Portugal’s biggest media conglomerate, Impresa, defacing its websites with a ransom note and gaining control of the company’s Twitter account. Impresa’s websites and Internet streams were also taken down. The hacker group also hit Brazil’s health ministry late last year.

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yRaz

Posts: 4,793   +5,971
Those poor miners, I feel sorry for them with LHR. NOT! Stop wasting electric, don't mine!
To be fair, nVidia is wasting the electricity by limiting the hashrate because people are going to mine on them ANYWAY. While limiting the hashrate makes them LESS profitable they will always be used for mining as long as they ARE profitable.
 

DukeJukem

Posts: 310   +342
If I were Nvidia I'd publicly broadcast that I simply don't care. "Oh no some nobody with no life figured out how to unlock our cards and make them more desirable, thus making us more money." Seriously who cares? This guy probably truly believes he has something over Nvidia here. What a loser. People like this should have their property they're committing these crimes on destroyed.
 

MaestroIT

Posts: 107   +105
"... Lapsus$ claims to be selling a bypass, and is threatening to leak the algorithm if Nvidia doesn’t push a firmware update to remove the LHR..."

If at the end the algorithm will be released/bypassed why not just release what they have? seems they don't have it and just doing false claims...
 

umbala

Posts: 778   +1,522
To be fair, nVidia is wasting the electricity by limiting the hashrate because people are going to mine on them ANYWAY. While limiting the hashrate makes them LESS profitable they will always be used for mining as long as they ARE profitable.
By your logic we should remove all laws too, because well people are going to break them anyway! No, the real solution here is to ban all crypto-bullcrap outright. FULL STOP.
 

yRaz

Posts: 4,793   +5,971
By your logic we should remove all laws too, because well people are going to break them anyway! No, the real solution here is to ban all crypto-bullcrap outright. FULL STOP.
That's one heck of a logical fallacy you made there, I'm impressed.

Why exactly should we ban crypto? If nations are creating their own state sanctioned cryptographic currency then what outside the function and idea of crypto is bad?

Because I think the major reason people hate crypto is that it increases the price and decreases the supply of graphics cards. Everything else comes second.

Some people say that it should be illegal because it's only used for drugs and money laundering, so is state sanctioned fiat currencies.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 3,075   +3,972
TechSpot Elite
I don't understand how this is a real threat. What does nVidia care if the key to the algorithm gets released? It makes their cards better for mining and would increase their value! I wouldn't be surprised if nVidia orchestrated this entire thing. Their cards would no longer be LHR and they could cry innocence. That's a WIN-WIN for nVidia if you ask me.

As for Lapsus$, what's in it for them? I can't think of a single way in which Lapsus$ would benefit from this but it's obvious that nVidia would reap huge rewards. If you follow the money (which is always the best thing to do), a smart person would be awfully suspicious of this whole situation.

As for DLSS, I don't think that it's that big of a deal compared to the money that nVidia would reap from having cards that are even more desirable to miners.
 
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Avro Arrow

Posts: 3,075   +3,972
TechSpot Elite
If I were Nvidia I'd publicly broadcast that I simply don't care. "Oh no some nobody with no life figured out how to unlock our cards and make them more desirable, thus making us more money." Seriously who cares? This guy probably truly believes he has something over Nvidia here. What a loser. People like this should have their property they're committing these crimes on destroyed.
Try to keep things in perspective. The crimes that these little groups commit is nothing compared to the crimes committed by multinational corporations. Besides, how do you know that they're not on Huang's payroll? He stands to gain BIG from this.
 

DaveBG

Posts: 632   +297
Right because gaming for 1 to 2 hours a day is comparable to running dozens upon dozens, if not hundreds of cards at full capacity 24 hours a day...
Gaming also taxes the CPU and all other components while mining only does the GPU. So not exactly fair comparison.
 

DCOCA

Posts: 18   +12
There are more gamers, sure, but I would guess that there are not more video cards being used for gaming than there are being used for mining.
I don’t think so, also you have to include consoles anything that uses electricity for the use of gaming.
 

PEnnn

Posts: 944   +1,228
Well if your a gamer then your not helping. Using electricity for your personal entertainment. Don't Game.

I have some breaking news for you: Nobody games 24/7/365 using dozens or 100s of GPUs.

And it seems gamers have better grammar than some miners around here!
 

Adhmuz

Posts: 2,275   +1,097
Gaming also taxes the CPU and all other components while mining only does the GPU. So not exactly fair comparison.
Fine if comparing one gaming system to one GPU in a mining rig, but how many GPUs are in that mining rig? As soon as the answer is more than 1 it'll be taking more power to operate than that single GPU base gaming system. Most games are not taxing the rest of the PC significantly enough anyways, personally my GPU makes up ~80% of the power usage when playing a game.