Nvidia pushes out urgent security patches — but there's a catch

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Got an Nvidia graphics card in your PC? You'll need to check whether you need to install some updates.

Nvidia yesterday (Sept. 30) pushed out security updates for its Quadro, NVS and Tesla graphics-card drivers, as well as for its vGPU software used by virtual machines. 

The downside: Updated drivers for Nvidia GeForce cards, the sort most often used by gamers and consumers, won't be available until next week (after Oct. 5). We'll update this story when those are ready.

The patches fix 11 security flaws that permit unauthorized code execution, theft of sensitive information, escalation of system privileges and plain old denial of service. In other words, hackers could use these flaws to install malware, steal data, take over your machine or just make the Nvidia card or software stop working.

How to update your Nvidia drivers

To make sure you have the latest Nvidia driver for your system, first check to see what you have. 

The easy way: The GeForce Experience desktop software tells you what you've got and whether it's up to date under the "Drivers" tab. 

If you see a message that "You Have the Latest," then you're done for now, or at least until next week when new drivers should be released. If not, then you'll likely be prompted to download the new driver.

The less easy way: If you want to get technical, then right-click your desktop and select Nvidia Control Panel to launch that feature. In the window that appears, click System Information at the bottom left. A smaller window will appear that will list your Nvidia components with the driver version for each to their right.

Then you'll need to cruise over to the Nvidia Driver Downloads web page, plug in the information about what kind of card and system you have into the drop-down options menu, and then hit "Search." The resulting page will show you the latest driver available. 

Again, the GeForce drivers to patch these flaws will come the week of Oct. 5, so please check back with us in a week or so.

Paul Wagenseil

Paul Wagenseil is a senior editor at Tom's Guide focused on security and privacy. He has also been a dishwasher, fry cook, long-haul driver, code monkey and video editor. He's been rooting around in the information-security space for more than 15 years at FoxNews.com, SecurityNewsDaily, TechNewsDaily and Tom's Guide, has presented talks at the ShmooCon, DerbyCon and BSides Las Vegas hacker conferences, shown up in random TV news spots and even moderated a panel discussion at the CEDIA home-technology conference. You can follow his rants on Twitter at @snd_wagenseil.