Nvidia breach seen as ransomware attack unconnected to Ukraine

The hack looks to be relatively minor and not fuelled by geopolitical tensions. PHOTO: REUTERS

SANTA CLARA (BLOOMBERG) - A cyber breach suffered by Nvidia in recent days appears to have been a ransomware attack that is not connected to the crisis in Ukraine, according to a person familiar with the incident.

The hack looks to be relatively minor and not fuelled by geopolitical tensions, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the details are not public.

Nvidia, the most valuable publicly traded chipmaker in the United States, disclosed the breach earlier on Friday (Feb 25), saying it was investigating an attack on its computer systems.

"Our business and commercial activities continue uninterrupted," Nvidia said in a statement. "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."

Nvidia chips are an essential component of the millions of personal computers used by gamers. The company also has a growing position in data centres, where its powerful processors help run artificial intelligence software.

The company, valued at more than US$600 billion (S$816 billion), has its main offices in Santa Clara, California, a short distance from the headquarters of other US chip companies, including Intel and Advanced Micro Devices.

Governments and companies around the world are on the lookout for online attacks following Russia's invasion of the Ukraine. The Telegraph reported earlier that some Nvidia computer systems were knocked offline for up to two days because of illicit access from the outside.

Investors brushed off the concerns Friday, sending the shares up 1.7 per cent to US$241.57 at the close in New York. Still, Nvidia is down 18 per cent this year, hurt by a broader slump in chip stocks.

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