Nvidia Cyber ​​Attack Unrelated to Russian Invasion of Ukraine, Report Says

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Nvidia has not yet released further details about the cyber incident it was investigating, but a report Friday said the apparent cyber attack was unrelated to the crisis in Ukraine sparked by Russia.

The unprovoked invasion of Ukraine by neighboring Russia this week led to increased sanctions from the US and other Western countries on Thursday. Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly threatened to take action against the west if his nations “meddle” in Russia’s campaign against Ukraine — something many believe could include the deployment of cyber-attacks, given the widespread use of these tactics by the Putin regime.

However, according to a Bloomberg report on Friday, the cyberattack on Nvidia was unrelated to Russia’s war on Ukraine. The breach was “not related to the crisis in Ukraine,” the report said, citing a source familiar with the matter.

When it was reached on Friday, Nvidia said it was unable to confirm the report and had no additional information to add beyond the earlier statement.

The Bloomberg report also said the incident “appears” to be involved in a ransomware attack, suggesting the attack was “relatively minor”.

In Nvidia’s statement earlier Friday, a spokesperson said the company is “investigating an incident” and is “still evaluating the nature and magnitude of the event.”

“Our business and commercial activities will continue uninterrupted,” the Nvidia spokesperson said in the statement.

Faults reported

The statement came in response to a Friday report In The Telegraph that Nvidia, one of the largest producers of graphics chips, has been investigating “a possible cyber attack that took parts of its company offline for two days”.

Citing an unnamed “insider” at Nvidia, The Telegraph reported that the potential cyberattack had “completely compromised the company’s internal systems” — “although some email services were working on Friday,” the report said.

The potential “malicious network intrusion” has caused disruptions to the company’s email systems and developer tools, the report said.

In situations like this, cyber defenders should not “immediately assume” that attacks are retaliation for Western sanctions against Russia, said Rick Holland, CISO at Digital Shadows.

“This response is possible, but it needs to be researched and validated,” Holland said. “Ransomware teams have been extorting victims for years and will continue to do so.”

Retaliation threatened

Still, in his speeches in recent days, Putin has made it clear that the entire Western world is his enemy and that all options are on the table, said Eric Byres, a cybersecurity veteran who is now CTO of aDolus Technology.

In his speech on Thursday, Putin said that “for those who may be tempted to interfere in these developments”, “Russia will respond immediately and the consequences will be like you have never seen in your entire history.”

Russian cyber-offensives have also played a part in building the country towards its attack on Ukraine this week. Authorities in the US and UK blamed Russia for last week’s massive Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks in Ukraine. New DDoS attacks, as well as destructive cyber attacks involving wiper malware, hit Ukraine just before the invasion on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Russia’s attacks on Ukraine have led hacking groups around the world to expand their activities — in many cases to support one of the two sides in what some are calling a “cyber proxy war.”

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