What’s happening — Lapsus$, a hacking organization that managed to get into Nvidia’s corporate servers, is asking the company to open source its drivers, and to remove software from its graphic cards (GPUs) that limits crypto mining speed.
Or else… it will leak Nvidia’s source code to the world!
Some context: Nvidia primarily sells chips (GPUs) to support gamers with high-fidelity graphics. GPUs are designed to be excellent at fast mathematical computations — which kinda also makes them ideal to solve math puzzles needed to mine crypto.
So in 2018, during the previous crypto boom, demand for Nvidia’s chips from miners went gangbusters. Things got so out of hand that Gamers couldn’t find enough stock — causing widespread backlash and even forcing people to diss Nvidia, and switch to rivals like AMD.
Handling crypto-demand became such a nuisance for the company, that in 2021 Nvidia released a whole set of software that would limit the hash-rate of its GPUs, making them slow for crypto mining. Gotta pick sides sometimes!
Anyway, so now the “decentralized” world is pissed that the best-in-class processors to mine Ethereum, and a bunch of other coins are no longer good enough. Lapsus$ decides to take matters into their own hands!
Quick timeline of the Lapsus$ crisis: ☝️
- Lapsus gets into Nvidia servers, steals 1 terabyte of data
- Starts publishing it online. Releases data including usernames and cryptographic hashes for 70K+ Nvidia employees
- Issues Nvidia a warning — open source the drivers so we can further enhance speeds, or we will release your source code
Post COVID, verified cases of corporate cybercrime went up by 500-600% — embarrassing companies from Microsoft to Toyota. These attacks, coupled with the Ukraine mess, is giving global executives nightmares.
Big picture — scared corporations are now expected to respond by taking cybersecurity spending up several notches, making it one of the hottest investable categories in public as well as private markets.