Ethereum ‘mining fix’ for Nvidia GPUs turns out to be malware: Reports

A tool called “Nvidia RTX LHR v2 Unlocker”, which supposedly allowed users to unlock full Ethereum mining capabilities on Nvidia RTX graphics cards, was released on GitHub recently. But not only did the tool not work at all, but it was actually a malware according to Tom’s Hardware. Members of the mining communities ChumpchangeXD and Y3ti shared the revelations in a livestream on the Red Panda Mining channel yesterday.

Check out the YouTube video below

While it is so far unclear what the malware has been designed to do, it contains payloads of atleast 18 different trojans and viruses that can do everything from infecting your entire network to compromising your desktop wallets.

Malware analysis site JoeSandbox has confirmed the software to be malicious with a confidence of 100 per cent. You can also view an illustration of how the malware infects systems and networks on the site.

The malware reportedly infects PowerShell.exe. (Image credit: Screenshot from JoeSandbox)

According to the Verge, Nvidia has been putting limits on cryptocurrency mining on its cards since mid-2021, creating a sharp demand for both older graphics cards that do not have this limit, as well as tools that could bypass the issue. The report also added that multiple outlets including Tom’s Hardware themselves and PC Gamer had reported on the “promising” tool that could potentially unlock full mining capacity on Nvidia’s LHR (lite hash rate i.e, restricted) cards.

Many PC gamers found it difficult to source Nvidia’s 30 series graphic cards due to the silicon supply crisis that plagued most tech firms throughout last year. This problem was further exacerbated by scalpers and crypto miners who began buying up the cards immediately after they hit the market.

While scalpers usually turn around and sell the devices at a much higher price than retail, miners use the card for mining, essentially taking it out of the market. Nvidia introduced the mining limitations on its cards to make them unattractive to miners, in a bid to free up the supply for gamers looking to buy the cards.

This year, the Ethereum network is supposed to shift to a proof-of-stake model that will render GPU-intensive mining rigs obsolete. But it hasn’t happened so far.