March 2, 2024

Oops: That NVIDIA RTX LHR Unlocker Is Actually Malware

Skull over code

A program called Nvidia RTX LHR v2 Unlocker was making the rounds all over the tech media as a way to restore the Ethereum mining power of Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 30 and A-series graphics cards. As it turns out, it’s malware and should be avoided.

NVIDIA’s latest cards are designed to be unattractive to crypto miners thanks to a mining performance cap in the Lite Hash Rate. The Nvidia RTX LHR v2 Unlocker claimed it could modify the card’s firmware to bypass that cap. However, Hassan Mujtaba discovered that it actually infects the host system with malware.

Specifically, it infects powershell.exe, which is a Windows service. Not only does it infect the system with malware, but it doesn’t do what it promises. It’s just a tricky piece of software designed to gain threat actors access to a system they shouldn’t have.

If this had worked, people with the latest NVIDIA cards would be able to harness their full power to mine crypto. However, it looks like NVIDIA’s performance cap will remain in place, at least for now.

It’s not clear if the malware is widespread yet. After all, only a specific subset of users will want to install a program designed to unlock their GPU’s mining potential. Hopefully, it hasn’t infected too many people. If you were thinking about downloading and installing the Nvidia RTX LHR v2 Unlocker, don’t do it.

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