AMD’s Big Navi and Ardent graphics code has been stolen, hacker asking for ransom


AMD has been hit by a hacker who has reportedly stolen sensitive data pertaining to their Big Navi and Arden GPU code. These are AMD’s next big graphics cards with Arden reportedly being used for the upcoming Xbox Series X console. The hacker posted some of the code online to GitHub with proof of more code to potentially be leaked.

At AMD, data security and the protection of our intellectual property are a priority. In December 2019, we were contacted by someone who claimed to have test files related to a subset of our current and future graphics products, some of which were recently posted online, but have since been taken down.

The hacker posted that they are asking for ransom on the remaining code, and if nobody pays them, they’ll eventually leak it for free. The hacker reportedly asked for $100 million, but it seems like this is not true and instead they are just looking for an adequate sum of money to prevent the leak. AMD won’t capitulate and say that the code includes anything potentially harmful to their business, should it be shared.

While we are aware the perpetrator has additional files that have not been made public, we believe the stolen graphics IP is not core to the competitiveness or security of our graphics products. We are not aware of the perpetrator possessing any other AMD IP.

Blackmail is a horrible human trait, and nothing good usually comes of it. Trying to threaten a huge company in this manner surely doesn’t end well for an individual. It seems unlikely that sharing this stolen info with anyone other than a company with AMDs tech and R&D departments would lead to competing graphics cards popping up all over the place, even if the stolen code actually told someone how to put it all together. Chances are the only company that could gain a little bit from this would of course be Nvidia, and even then they would likely only know a rough idea of where AMD used to be in their development cycle. And Nvidia probably wouldn’t use the code themselves as the AMD/Nvidia graphics card architecture are different, right?

So with that in mind how do you guys think this could affect the market, if at all? Could we potentially see bootleg versions of AMD’s graphics cards making their way online? Could Nvidia potentially use that code? And if this sensitive data was indeed obtained, how will that look on AMD and potential investors for future products? The fact that such valuable code was obtained from a company specialising in PC hardware should raise concerns for companies like Xbox and Sony who are making their next-gen consoles with AMD’s hardware.