Chipmaker Nvidia Suffers a Major Blow
Microchip behemoth Nvidia suffered a cyberattack Friday, an apparently ongoing issue after a series of attacks affected the business over the last two days.
Nvidia is America’s largest chipmaker and the attack “totally compromised” its internal systems, Reuters reports.
The company said in a statement that it had no detailed comment.
“We are investigating an incident. Our business and commercial activities continue uninterrupted,” it said. “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.”
What Has Been Targeted
It is still unknown if the attack compromised customer information or their personal data, or simply knocked the company’s system’s offline.
The series of attacks are reportedly from a malicious network intrusion, meaning that they were intentional and likely caused by bad actors.
The sector itself has been on high alert during Russia’s conflict with Ukraine, with many chipmakers steeling themselves for malware and various forms of cyber warfare after American manufacturers and their products joined the list of sanctions imposed on Russia.
Nvidia Is a Natural Target
Nvidia is perhaps best known for the role it plays in creating lifelike video games and artificial intelligence software, but its chips power everything from smartphones to children’s toys.
It has a market cap of $593 billion, making it one of the world’s most valuable corporations, and the impact it has on the semiconductor market is substantial. A successful attack on its infrastructure this early in the conflict will likely raise alarm bells with authorities and competitors alike.
Here’s What Sanctions Are in Place Now
On Thursday, President Joe Biden put in place a suite of sanctions aimed at target Moscow’s technology, aerospace and banking sectors.
That included asset freezes on banking accounts, a chokehold on manufacturing that might aid things like mining and aviation, and a host of other measures put in place to hobble Russia’s ability to do business globally or fund its invasion into Ukraine.
Some market watchers have looked to America’s recent scuffle with China and how it handle its trade war there as a way to find clues to what else might be in store for Russia.
Who Else Might Be a Target?
Other companies that are now on sanctions lists drawn up by American authorities and targeting Russia include (AMD) – Get Advanced Micro Devices and Inc. Report, (INTC) – Get Intel Corporation Report.
The next step may be an aggressive stance and freezing of payment systems like the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, which would immediately freeze cross-border payments for Russia.
How to Avoid Being Attacked
Ukraine has already been hit by waves of cyberattacks.
ESET, a cybersecurity company, told TheStreet Thursday that some of those were probably planned for months, and launched software that disrupted hundreds of networks.
The early emergence of attacks like those mean Russian cyber warfare is likely following close behind.
In that case, consumers and companies can prepare by changing passwords frequently, using two-factor authentication and checking sites like haveibeenpwned.com to see if they’ve been hacked.
“A good offense is the best defense,” Casey Ellis, founder and CTO at Bugcrowd, a San Francisco-based company in crowdsourced cybersecurity, told TheStreet.
“Launching a vulnerability disclosure program as a ‘see something, say something’ exercise will not only help you find weaknesses, but it will also help you train non-security personnel within your organization that mistakes happen and that they can often be exploited.”