Sometimes, programs designed to ensure that something works should cause more harm than benefit.

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NVidia
image credits: tomshardware

This is exactly what happened to this particular Nvidia RTX LHR Unlocker Version 2, which claims to bring back the Ethereum mining capabilities for the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 as well as RTX A series graphics card. Unfortunately, instead of restoring the capped mining capacity, the program can infect host systems by introducing malware discovered by Hassan Mujtaba.

It is believed that the Nvidia RTX LHR version 2 Unlocker claimed that it could alter the software of graphic cards to eliminate mining performance caps that Nvidia introduced to make its LHR (light hash rate) cards unattractive to mining enthusiasts. Editing a BIOS for a graphics card is not something that designers of GPUs or makers of graphics cards would expect users to do, and therefore, it is a legal act. The LHRUnlocker file Install.msi is not only unable to fulfill its promise. However, it also infects powershell.exe, a Windows service infected by malware.

Although we’re sure that utilities such as this carry out unsettling activities, given that they are designed to circumvent certain limitations imposed by OS or drivers, we don’t expect the program to search for systems drives, use escape loops that slow down dynamic analysis, employ techniques to obscure code or trigger excessive CPU utilization, as documented in Joe’s Sandbox Cloud.

The program itself might not cause any immediate harm, but it is not forgotten that it only works using modified Nvidia drivers. They could later be infected by some other virus that is more damaging. In any event, we have removed the hyperlinks that refer to Nvidia RTX LHR v2 Unlocker from the original report.