A hacker recently posted a sale for a proof of concept (PoC) that exploits graphics cards and injects malicious code through the system VRAM. It could potentially recreate computer graphics cards as a Trojan Horse carrying system malware.
The seller claimed this hack would work on GPUs from AMD, Intel, and Nvidia.
Computer graphics cards are important tools for gamers and creative workers. Specifically, the graphics processing unit (GPU) accelerates the creation and rendering of images, videos, animation, and other similar multimedia content. Everyone using GPUs benefit greatly from faster processing time.
Unfortunately, a new hack can exploit this system.
GPU Malware Tests on AMD, Intel, and Nvidia
Digitrends explained that antivirus software today cannot scan system GPUs and VRAM. With that, the for-sale hack PoC targets to exploit this weakness by planting malware in the VRAM and running its dirty work from that part. This would make it harder for antiviruses to detect and remove.
According to the same report, the PoC was posted on an underground forum on August 8. It reportedly got sold by August 25. Unfortunately, details of the transaction were not revealed. It is unknown how much was paid or who purchased this new hack.
On its product description, the seller wrote that the PoC only works for Windows PCs that support OpenCL 2.0 and above. The PoC has been reportedly tested and proven effective on the following GPUs:
- AMD Radeon RX 5700
- Intel UHD Graphics 620
- Intel UHD Graphics 630
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650
It is undetermined if the attack would work on recently released GPUs like the Radeon RX 6000 series and GeForce RTX 3000 series.
Notably, targeting GPUs for cyberattacks is not a new method. Six years ago, a similar PoC called JellyFish was built. This PoC exploited GPUs with a GPU-based keylogger program.
According to eHackingNews, the seller dismissed the similarities and said that this new PoC has a unique approach that does not rely on code mapping to userspace. Instead, this hack might use malicious codes that allow binary execution by the GPU in its memory region.
How to Protect Yourself Against New Malware Attack
With this unfortunate development, users are recommended to be extra careful in the coming months. A new hacking strategy might be underway, which features a high level of complexity in its attacks.
Since computer GPUs could potentially be exploited in this hacking strategy, users are warned to be vigilant in their internet activity. They should be careful about downloading internet content from suspicious emails, links, and files. PC owners, gamers, and creators should also watch their RAM activity, especially if it suddenly consumes too much memory or launches suspicious programs.
The new hacking attack could happen anytime between the next month to next year. To keep safe from these attacks, users are also recommended to:
- Follow safety protocols against Ransomware and Malware attacks
- Update yourself with the recent Malware and Hack issues on the internet
- Use safety precautions when browsing the internet.