Nvidia hit with potentially major cyberattack

Nvidia logo on a dark background
(Image credit: Konstantin Savusia / Shutterstock)

Nvidia appears to have been hit with a potential cyber attack this week, which has reportedly "completely compromised" parts of its business, forcing the tech giant to take some services offline.

The report comes from The Telegraph and says that the cyberattack has taken parts of Nvidia's business offline for at least two days, coinciding with the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine and its subsequent cyber warfare operations against Ukraine.

"We are investigating an incident," An Nvidia spokesperson told TechRadar. "Our business and commercial activities continue uninterrupted. We are still working to evaluate the nature and scope of the event and don't have any additional information to share at this time."

The Telegraph report says that the company's email systems and developer tools were suffering from outages in the last two days from what is believed to be a malicious intrusion into the company's network, though no culprit has been identified or even if the problem is a cyberattack.

There is no evidence at this point implicating bad actors in Russia or Russian security services in the disruption, but western governments have been on heightened alert for potential retaliatory cyberattacks from Russia after the imposition of sanctions following Russia's invasion of neighboring Ukraine.

Nvidia is best known for making graphics processors, but it has established itself in other critical areas like machine learning and cloud services, giving the company larger national security exposure than in the past.

So far, it isn't known if anything was taken from Nvidia servers or if the disruption was purely that, disruption for the sake of disruption.

Analysis: we're not saying its definitely Russia, but...

The obvious connection people are making is that this apparent cyberattack happened just as Russia invaded Ukraine, which suffered its own slew of cyberattacks all week.

That is still circumstantial evidence at best, and it's premature to point fingers. This is especially true since there are plenty of bad actors out there who would love to dig into Nvidia's systems for malice and profit, and what better time to do that than a moment when the entire world is primed to blame Russia for such an attack?

Still, the cyberattack – if that's what this is – doesn't just coincide with the invasion of Ukraine, but the imposition of US export controls on semiconductors and other high-tech computer technology. So, if Russia were going to retaliate, why not strike out at one of the world's largest semiconductor companies, which just so happens to be based in the US?

There is a lot of literal and metaphorical fog of war right now, and it's always best to reserve judgment until we know more of the facts on the ground, which is something that we simply don't have right now.

John Loeffler
Components Editor

John (He/Him) is the Components Editor here at TechRadar and he is also a programmer, gamer, activist, and Brooklyn College alum currently living in Brooklyn, NY. 

Named by the CTA as a CES 2020 Media Trailblazer for his science and technology reporting, John specializes in all areas of computer science, including industry news, hardware reviews, PC gaming, as well as general science writing and the social impact of the tech industry.

You can find him online on Threads @johnloeffler.

Currently playing: Baldur's Gate 3 (just like everyone else).