Following last week’s cyber attack on Nvidia by a group of hackers named Lapsus$, news has been dripping out about what kind of data the hackers were able to grab, and what they intend to do with it. The group has now leaked what appears to be the source code for Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) technology. That’s the proprietary tech that uses AI and an Nvidia GPU’s tensor cores to improve rendering performance in supported games.
The news of the leak comes from an anonymous source who sent a screenshot of the illicit files to TechPowerUp. The leaked files seem to include C++ files and assets, along with a “DSLL Programming Guide,” seemingly made to help developers implement it properly. Despite the embarrassing release of a company’s proprietary source code, developers working on alternatives from the company’s competitors will probably avoid it like the plague.
Both AMD and Intel have their own version of this technology, named FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) and Intel Xe Super Sampling (XeSS), but it’s unlikely any serious programmer from either company would even glance at the forbidden fruit out of fear of legal retribution. That standard, however, might not apply to non US actors. Nvidia would likely act with extreme prejudice to protect its IP, so digging into material like this is still potentially risky.
In response, Nvidia released a statement confirming the breach and including several additional details to a German site named Hardwareluxx. The statement reads, “On February 23, 2022, NVIDIA became aware of a cybersecurity incident which impacted IT resources. Shortly after discovering the incident, we further hardened our network, engaged cybersecurity incident response experts, and notified law enforcement.
We have no evidence of ransomware being deployed on the NVIDIA environment or that this is related to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. However, we are aware that the threat actor took employee credentials and some NVIDIA proprietary information from our systems and has begun leaking it online. Our team is working to analyze that information. We do not anticipate any disruption to our business or our ability to serve our customers as a result of the incident.
Security is a continuous process that we take very seriously at NVIDIA – and we invest in the protection and quality of our code and products daily.”
This news is an escalation in the skirmish between Nvidia and the hacking group, which had previously came forward to declare they were just trying to help out miners and gamers by stealing code to dismantle the company’s Lite Hash Rate technology in order to allow the crypto miners of the world to throw off the shackles of the hash rate limiter it included with its 30-series GPUs. The hackers also reportedly began selling a workaround. It remains to be seen what the next step might be, but the hackers have proclaimed they stole 1TB of confidential data from Nvidia’s servers before being shut out, and have said if Nvidia removes the LHR limiter from its GPU they will forget all about the stolen data.