We suppose it had to happen sometime, considering how hackers have been running around the Internet and breaking things: NVIDIA's forums have been hacked.
The company did not use those exact words, but there aren't many other ways to interpret a sudden downtime for all the forums in response to “suspicious activity.”
“We did this in response to suspicious activity and immediately began an investigation. We apologize that our continuing investigation is taking this long. Know that we are working around the clock to ensure that secure operations can be restored,” the company wrote
The times are especially busy for hackers, NVIDIA being just one of the victims.
Another noteworthy, recent incident was the hacking of Yahoo!'s contributor network, as detailed by us here
. 450,000 Yahoo! and other company users names and passwords were compromised yesterday, July 11.
NVIDIA did not provide the number of users that had their data stolen. There has probably not been enough time for those details to be tallied.
The company did say what was uncovered though: the username, password (hashed, including random salt value), the e-mail address and “About Me” profile info.
Logically, the first order of business for members of the NVIDIA forums should change passwords, maybe place a different e-mail address, etc.
Not just yet though. At the time of this article's writing, the boards are still down for investigation and maintenance.
It is worth mentioning that the user’s title, age, birth date, gender, location, interests, email and website URL from “About me” were publicly accessible anyway. The only real risk is the password, and NVIDIA does not store those in plain text, which means the theft is not so much indicative of flaws in security as it is of the skill of the hackers
At any rate, once the Santa Clara, California-based GPU maker has finished sorting things out, it will bring the forum back online and send users e-mails with temporary passwords and instructions on how to change it as soon as possible.