Why it matters: Tech companies hate seeing their latest projects leak early, but it's an unfortunate reality in this fast-moving age of instant information and unprecedented security breaches. AMD learned that the hard way recently after a hacker got her hands on the source code for some of AMD's upcoming graphics products.
AMD announced this data breach earlier today, claiming that it was first notified of the incident back in December. The company says the hacker in question reached out to them directly, but the individual -- a female who spoke to TorrentFreak anonymously -- disputes this statement. She says that she never had any direct contact with AMD for fear of being sued.
The graphics products that the hacker managed to gain the source code for include Navi 10, Navi 21, and Arden devices, which cover current-gen, next-gen, and Xbox Series X GPUs, respectively. Some of the source code was uploaded to GitHub, but it was swiftly taken down on AMD's request.
The code was obtained from an "unexpectedly" unprotected computer, the hacker told TorrentFreak, and it lacked any "proper" encryption. She went on to note that she feels the stolen source code could be valued at "$100m," but that's obviously quite difficult to verify.
As you'd expect, AMD is concerned about this breach, and notes that the hacker likely has other files that have not yet been made public. However, it insists that the stolen graphics code is "not core" to the competitiveness or security of its graphics products. Furthermore, the hardware maker is "working closely" with law enforcement officials to track down the hacker and bring them to justice.
Whether or not these endeavors will be successful remains to be seen -- tech-savvy hackers can be quite elusive when they want to be.
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