Archive for NVIDIA

NVIDIA Strikes Back At The Hackers Who Hacked Them

Posted in Commentary with tags , on March 1, 2022 by itnerd

According to Vx-underground on Twitter, NVIDIA, which was the victim of an epic cyberattack last week, has reportedly retaliated against the hacker group that attacked them by hacking them:

The interesting part of the incident is that the group has reportedly made a copy of the stolen data on a virtual-machine environment, which implies that this counter-attack was not be successful. But it’s interesting that NVIDIA decided to go this route as opposed to engaging law enforcement.

LAPSU$ made the news recently for pwning a TV network in Portugal. They’re apparently based in South America and is well known in the ransomware community. And clearly this ransomware group takes steps to protect themselves that companies should be taking to avoid getting pwned. Such as making backups.

Mark my words. This is not over. There’s going to be more coming from this story.

UPDATE: Here’s some more info. NVIDIA has spoken. While they haven’t commented on attacking LAPSU$, they did say that the attack leaked employee credentials and some company proprietary information online after their systems were breached.

“We have no evidence of ransomware being deployed on the Nvidia environment or that this is related to the Russia-Ukraine conflict,” the company’s spokesperson said in a statement. The Santa Clara, California-based company said it became aware of the breach on Feb. 23. Nvidia added it was working to analyze the information that has been leaked and does not anticipate any disruption to the company’s business. A ransomware outfit under the name “Lapsus$” has reportedly claimed to be responsible for the leak and seemingly has information about the schematics, drivers and firmware, among other data, about the graphics chips.

UPDATE #2: Dr. Saumitra Das, CTO and Co-Founder, Blue Hexagon had this to say:

“This is typical of ransomware gangs nowadays where they can still cause brand damage and steal IP without actually deploying the final ransomware payloads. Double and triple extortion are all part of the current playbook for these attackers. In this case, it appears that the group claims to have been able to steal IP without encrypting data. There is always a tradeoff for the attackers between encrypting data and stealing data because encryption and deletion can trigger alarms at organizations with mature security programs and take away the leverage from the attackers.”

BREAKING: NVIDIA Hit By Major Cyberattack

Posted in Commentary with tags , on February 25, 2022 by itnerd

News is filtering out that NVIDIA who makes graphics chips for major PC companies among other things has been hit by a major cyberattack. The word on the street says that their business may have been partially or completely compromised as a result:

NVIDIA has seemingly been hit by a major cyberattack that may have completely compromised parts of its business, reports The Telegraph. In their exclusive report, The Telegraph reports that the cyberattack was initiated at the same time as the Russian cyber warfare division started their offensive against Ukraine. All Nato allies have announced major sanctions on Russia and this could potentially be why Russia has decided to target major companies such as NVIDIA. 

The report further states that the cyberattack on NVIDIA has completely compromised parts of their business and there are already reports from several users coming in regarding services disruption. The scale of this attack is currently unknown but it clearly seems to be a major one as NVIDIA had to take several systems offline to pacify the intrusion before it could spread further: “‘The ultimate concern is that somebody may have put something in one of the software updates,’ Dr Woodward said, pointing to the devastating SolarWinds hack that exploited American software companies to gain access to US government computer systems. ‘They’ll be going through trying to make sure to see if there’s any indication that anything has been changed in their software that they then shipped to their clients.'” NVIDIA’s mail servers were also partially operational during this time so it’s entirely likely that there might have been a breach in confidential documents. But it is not confirmed yet if any data was stolen.

This is far from trivial. If the threat actors, which at this point appears to be Russia, slipped something into software updates such as graphic card driver updates, then this could become a massive supply chain attack that could affect tens of thousands of users. If the threat actors stole anything, that could really hurt NVIDIA’s business in the long term.

My question is, will this prompt retaliation from the US and other allies? We’ll have to watch and see.

Nvidia Settles Chip Lawsuit

Posted in Commentary with tags , on September 30, 2010 by itnerd

Frequent readers of this blog will recall that Nvidia had some “problematic” GPU chipsets which lead to a lawsuit or two. Today Nvidia settled some of that litigation according to

In response to the settlement dated August 12, 2010, Nvidia issued this statement today. “We can confirm that Nvidia has settled litigation concerning a weak die/packaging material set in certain versions of our previous generation MCP (media and communication processor) and GPU products used in notebook configurations. Notice of this settlement has been sent to potentially affected eligible customers. Claims are being processed through a third party administrator who is working directly with our customers. Consumers who believe they are affected and wish to file a claim should read the notice and follow the instructions that it sets out. As previously announced, our second-quarter financial results reflected costs associated with this settlement.”

Okay. But here’s where things get interesting:

However, starting on page 24 of the settlement, Nvidia also stated that it “has denied, and continues to deny, all allegations of wrongdoing or liability” related to the claims. And it goes on to say that it is settling “solely because it will eliminate the burden, expense, management distraction and uncertainties of further litigation and the concomitant distraction of resources and efforts from their business.”

So this could be one of those “pay to make our legal problems go away” deals or it could be a “pay to cover up our shortcomings” deals. Either way, if you’ve got one of 50 models of Dell, HP or Apple computers, some cash could be coming your way. 

You can read the PDF with the full details here.

Nvidia Halting Chipset Development…. Hmmm

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 8, 2009 by itnerd

PC Magazine is reporting that Nvidia is putting it’s chipset business on hold due to legal issues between itself and Intel. Nvidia sock puppet PR person Robert Sherbin explains why:

“We have said that we will continue to innovate integrated solutions for Intel’s FSB architecture,” Sherbin said in an email. “We firmly believe that this market has a long healthy life ahead. But because of Intel’s improper claims to customers and the market that we aren’t licensed to the new DMI bus and its unfair business tactics, it is effectively impossible for us to market chipsets for future CPUs. So, until we resolve this matter in court next year, we’ll postpone further chipset investments.”

Intel claims that its four-year-old chipset license with Nvidia does not cover the “Nehalem,” or Core series of microprocessors. Nvidia disagrees, and the matter will be hashed out in court in 2010. Nvidia still sells chipsets specifically designed for AMD’s line of processors, but has halted further development as well.

So, anybody who wants a chipset to work with an AMD or and Intel process is not going to Nvidia. That may pose a problem for Apple who uses Nvidia chipsets in Macs because they offer a performance improvement of similar Intel chipsets.

The same report also claims that Nvidia is also exiting the mid- and high-end standalone graphics card market, although the company has apparently called the rumor “patently untrue”. Sure, I remember not to long ago that rumors that it was leaving the chipset business were “groundless” according to Nvidia and today we have them leaving the chipset business. So take that denial for what it’s worth.

Apple To Dump Nvidia…. Or Not…. What’s The Story?

Posted in Commentary with tags , on July 3, 2009 by itnerd

The Interwebs have been buzzing with a rumor that Apple is fed up with Nvidia and is about to dump them. Apparently if you believe the rumor, when the next generation of MacBooks arrive they will be Nvidia free due to Nvidia’s “issues” with defective product. Interesting, but there’s also this denial that appeared today via a “source close to Nvidia.”

So is Nvidia in or out in Apple laptops?

It’s really hard to say. This could be a whole lot nothing, or there could be something to it. Two things to consider:

  1. Intel and Nvidia are currently suing each other over Nvidia’s licensing of Intel’s Nehalem architecture. That’s supposed to be the basis of the next generation of MacBooks. If Nvidia loses this pissing contest lawsuit, then they are automatically out of the running for any new Apple business as Apple will have to go back to Intel.
  2. Apple has previously punted ATI (now part of AMD) after ATI leaked Apple’s plans ahead of a Macworld keynote address. So I wouldn’t be surprised if something similar is going on.

We’ll find out when the next generation of MacBooks make their appearance. If they don’t have Nvidia inside, It’s a clear sign that this is all true.

Has Nvidia Been Punted From Dell? [UPDATED]

Posted in Commentary with tags , on May 26, 2009 by itnerd

The Inquirer is reporting that Dell has kicked Nvidia to the curb because of their ongoing nightmare with their graphics processor chipsets:

This is nothing less than a sea change at Dell. Nvidia has basically been shown the door by Dell in a most unceremonious fashion. Nvidia either decided to stop buying market share, or Dell just got fed up with it, but don’t preclude both.

From reading the article, it appears that The Inquirer  bases this on the fact that with the exception of a few XPS models, desktops are no longer coming with Nvidia hardware. They also cite that laptops are not far behind. Of course there are no sources to back this info up. But they did break the story on Nvidia’s problems and have been right about all the details to this point. So this report should be taken as plausible until there is definitive proof either way. And if this is true, then the downfall of Nvidia has begun.

Not that I’m suprised given the way they’ve handled this circus.

UPDATE: For some bizarre reason, I quoted The Register as the source of this story. It should be the Inquirer. Thanks to the “AngryTechnician” for pointing that out.

Nvidia’s Insurance Company Sues Nvidia Over Dodgy Graphic Chips

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 19, 2009 by itnerd

If problems with their graphic chipsets followed by lawsuits from ticked off users isn’t enough to cause Nvidia pain, this will. Their own insurance company is now suing them. Why? Here’s a few reasons from National Union (Nvidia’s insurance company):

“Concurrently with, or prior to, placing National Union on notice of the chip claims, Nvidia has engaged in settlement negotiations with the chip claimants and, on information and belief, has agreed to settlements and/or the material terms of settlements with respect to some or all of the chip claims,” the filing says.

But, complains NUFI: “Nvidia has not permitted National Union to participate in Nvidia’s negotiations of the chip claims or the determination of any settlement or agreements.”

NUFI alleges that Nvidia won’t tell it about the chip claims, and instead has “flooded National Union with technical data” and provided it with details about the GPUs themselves.

It continues that Nvidia has “cloaked its refusals to provide information under the guise of preserving commercial relationships with the chip claimants.” But NUFI says it wants objective, material and non-proprietary information – for example the records of the repairs made.

That translates to something along the lines of  this: Nvidia been covering up essential information that NUFI is entitled to receive as Nvidia’s insurer by refusing to disclose even the most basic facts about the company’s GPU chip failures. But it gets better (or worse depending on if you’re Nvidia or not):

“The chip claims arise out of allegedly defectively designed Nvidia chips G86, G86A2, G84, C51, G72, G72M, G73, G72A3, MCP67 and NV42.”

If that’s true, then Nvidia is truly screwed, because that’s a much larger list of potentially defective hardware than Nvidia led people to believe. Some of the chipsets on that list are desktop chipsets. I should point out that this was raised as a possibility some time ago. But now that there’s more then just rumor, I can just see the lawyers prepping the class action lawsuits to serve up to Nvidia.

Oh, what does their insurance company want out of all of this? Simple:

So National Union doesn’t want to pay up. It wants the court to declare it has no duty to indemnify Nvidia because Nvidia has breached the terms of the agreement.

That means that if they win, their insurance company doesn’t have to pay a dime. I suspect that it would like cripple or kill Nvidia too. I guess that Nvidia should have taken my advice from this posting:

Nvidia has to step up to the table regardless of whether this is fact or not and clear this up once and for all. Users of their chipsets have the right to know if the Nvidia chipset they have in their computer is faulty or not. If they are, users of their products have the right to a speedy replacement with a part that works. If Nvidia doesn’t do that and these chips are faulty, then they deserve to be run out of business.

Looks like Nvidia’s days are numbered. It sucks to be them.

Owners Of Apple, HP And Dell Notebooks Sue Nvidia Over Dodgy Hardware

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , on May 12, 2009 by itnerd

Another lawsuit has been filed over the Nvidia graphics chipset circus. According to CIO Magazine, owners of Dell, HP and Apple notebooks are trying to combine their lawsuits against Nvidia into a single lawsuit. They’re also looking for class action status as well:

The plaintiffs in the combined lawsuit said that anything other than a replacement of the flawed chips was insufficient. “This is a grossly inadequate ‘remedy,’ as it results in additional manifest defects, including, without limitation, further degraded battery life, system performance and increased noise in the Class Computers,” the complaint read.

“Worse, this ‘remedy’ fails to solve the actual problem. Instead, this measure only ensures that the Class Computers will fail after the OEM’s express warranty period expires, potentially leaving consumers with a defective computer and no immediate recourse,” the lawsuit continued. “Finally, even after this purported ‘update,’ video and system performance is still degraded due to unacceptably high heat and part failures.”

The Plantiffs want unspecified damages on top of the replacement of their faulty graphics chipsets. Perhaps Nvidia should have heeded my advice from this posting:

Nvidia has to step up to the table regardless of whether this is fact or not and clear this up once and for all. Users of their chipsets have the right to know if the Nvidia chipset they have in their computer is faulty or not. If they are, users of their products have the right to a speedy replacement with a part that works. If Nvidia doesn’t do that and these chips are faulty, then they deserve to be run out of business.

Perhaps it’s time that they got run out of business as this has really been handled poorly by them.

Nvidia’s 10Q Sheds Some Light On How bad The Graphics Chips Mess Might Be

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 16, 2009 by itnerd

Many people think that reading the 10Q documents (AKA: their annual report) of major corporations is as dry as toast. But you can sometimes find some interesting tidbits in them. Take Nvidia for example. In their annual report, I note the following items. You might recall that Nvidia had set aside $150 – $200 million to deal with graphics chips that were failing at a obscene rate. Nvidia has spent $43.6 million so far according to their annual report. But the telling point is in this paragraph:

In September, October and November 2008, several putative class action lawsuits were filed against us, asserting various claims related to the impacted MCP and GPU products. Such lawsuits could result in the diversion of management’s time and attention away from business operations, which could harm our business. In addition, the costs of defense and any damages resulting from this litigation, a ruling against us, or a settlement of the litigation could adversely affect our cash flow and financial results.

Translation: If the people who filed these lawsuits win, we’re screwed.

That sort of implies that this whole graphics chips mess is a lot bigger than they are admitting to publicly. It’s hard to tell as the 10Q really dances around the issue to a great degree. But perhaps now is a good time for them to start repairing the damage that this circus has caused by manning up and dealing with it? It may be cheaper for them in the long run.

Nvidia Says Sales Tanked In Q4….It Really Sucks To Be Them

Posted in Commentary with tags on February 11, 2009 by itnerd

Imagine for a second that you’re Nvidia. You’ve had issues with your chips which have led to lawsuits. Now it gets worse for you as you release your Q4 and full year numbers:

For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009, revenue was $481.1 million compared to $1.2 billion for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008, a decrease of 60 percent. For the twelve months ended January 25, 2009, revenue was $3.4 billion compared to $4.1 billion for the twelve months ended January 27, 2008, a decrease of 16 percent.

I’ll let you read the the gory details in the press release. But the bottom line is that Nvidia is in some amount of trouble. They did try to look at the bright side though:

“The environment is clearly difficult and uncertain. Our first priority is to set an operating expense level that balances cash conservation while allowing us to continue to invest in initiatives that are of great importance to the market and in which we believe we have industry leadership. We have initiatives in all areas to reduce operating expenses,” said Jen-Hsun Huang, president and CEO of NVIDIA. “Although fiscal 2009 was extremely difficult, it was one of our best years of innovation. We made many important advances in graphics processing with PhysX and 3D Vision, GPU computing with CUDA and Tesla, and mobile computing with ION and Tegra. I am pleased with the excellent achievements we made in each of these important areas.”

Okay, when a company that lost money says that “it was one of our best years of innovation,” it’s like a movie studio saying that a movie that didn’t make any money is “critically acclaimed.”  It’s simply spin and nothing more.

Needless to say, investors are heading to the exits as the stock is down 12% as I type this.