South American hacking organisation “Lapsus$” is threatening to release Nvidia Hash Rate blocker source code if Nvidia does not pay the $1M ransom.
Nvidia LHR (Light Hash Rate) reduces cryptocurrency mining capabilities by up to 50% on Nvidia GeForce RTX 30 series graphics cards. The new bypass that Lapsus$ has acquired claims to completely remove the limiter from Ethereum mining performance which would allow full os of the GPU technology to improve Ethereum mining. While this is promising news for mining enthusiasts, it could prove to be bad news for the graphics card market. The limiter was created so that graphics cards would not be entirely purchased by miners leaving nothing available for those that wish to use them for their intended purpose, gaming and content creation. Should this limiter blocker be publicly released, the GPU market could be hit by more shortages as miners buy up all available stock.
Nvidia was given until Friday the 4th of March to respond, and there has been no update yet as to whether or not they paid the ransom. Lapsus$ stated that if the ransom is not paid then they will “release the complete silicon, graphics, and computer chipset files for all recent NVIDIA GPUs, including the RTX 3090 Ti and upcoming revisions.” There is a strong possibility that Nvidia will not give into the hackers demands, as the mining community has already found ways to change the mining limit from 50% to 70%. Along with this, Ethereum is planning to phase out GPU-based mining at some point this year.
The bigger issue for Nvidia is that Lapsus$ is also threatening to release confidential data stolen from Nvidia, they are demanding that Nvidia makes all their GPU drivers open source or they will release a 250GB folder containing data on the company’s hardware.