A fake Ethereum mining fix for Nvidia GPUs was actually malware

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A tool released on GitHub advertised the sought-after ability to unlock the full Ethereum mining capabilities of recent Nvidia RTX graphics cards but actually contains malware. Tom’s Hardware and PC Gamer wrote about the initially promising utility, called “Nvidia RTX LHR v2 Unlocker,” which claimed to remove Nvidia’s “Lite Hash Rate” software that was implemented in newer graphics cards to deter crypto miners from buying gaming GPUs.

In a YouTube livestream yesterday on the Red Panda Mining channel, members of the mining community ChumpchangeXD and Y3TI shared less welcome findings: the tool contained multiple viruses.

Importantly, according to Tom’s Hardware, the tool doesn’t even perform its namesake function of removing the cap on the hash rate for your GPU. Instead, it apparently infects your system and causes a host of other unusual behavior, like high CPU usage, checking for system drives and other things that should — and did — raise some red flags. The publication points readers to Joe’s SandBox Cloud, a cool site that illustrates exactly how the malicious file spreads through a system upon installation.

Since Nvidia implemented Lite Hash Rate in graphics cards starting in mid-2021, there has been a huge demand (and a very profitable secondary market) for earlier RTX cards that don’t have a hash rate limitation. A tool that could lessen the demand by removing the limit from newer cards is a tempting proposition. Alas, file this one under “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

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