“Fortune favors the brave,” says noted cryptocurrency pundit Matt Damon. It also benefits those who ponder for a moment before using unverified software that promises to make you wealthy. Such a valuable lesson is provided by “LHR Unlocker.”
The tech press hailed the application earlier this week as a way for buyers of Nvidia’s newest high-powered graphics cards to get around safeguards that prevent them from being used for cryptocurrency mining. Instead, it sent a Trojan horse in a purported attempt to construct a botnet.
Faced with high demand from cryptocurrency miners, scalpers, and even regular individuals looking to play video games, Nvidia introduced the “Lite Hash Rate” limiter, which artificially restricts the amount of Ethereum that can be mined on recently released GeForce RTX 30-series graphics cards.
As a result, bitcoin miners and scalpers value these “LHR” cards less, but their performance in more traditional gaming and visual applications remains unchanged. LHR-enabled cards started arriving in the middle of 2021.
For some time, a developer going by the moniker “Sergey” has been talking up a solution for individuals who want their cards’ full crypto-crunching capabilities unlocked. The tech media avidly awaited the LHR Unlocker tool’s beta release throughout the web, which aided their efforts. When it was ultimately discovered, a security researcher called Mikhail Stepanov ran the changed driver file’s code through an antivirus scan.
It can be concluded that not only does the utility lack any ability to bypass Nvidia’s LHR security software, but it also installs a simple Trojan that infects the user’s PC and creates a botnet. The file bypasses Windows, Avast, Kaspersky, McAfee, and Symantec’s most basic antivirus security.