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Who dat? 0.dat? What a suspicious name for a file. In fact, while researching this executable I found many posts from Nvidia hardware owners (in the Nvidia forums) saying this file had been falsely flagged as malware by their antivirus program. So what exactly is this suspiciously named file (0.dat) and why is it running in the Windows Task Manager?
After some research I found that 0.dat (not related to O.dat) is typically a part of the driver packages for Nvidia graphics cards, containing important configurations and settings. For example, this process may start running if Nvidia releases a software update. 0.dat may also contain firmware updates and other essential data Nvidia hardware.
In the Nvidia forums, some different people claimed that this file is somehow related to different PC games, and helping them run in a more stable way with Nvidia hardware, but I couldn't verify that...
After checking the different PCs with Nvidia hardware in our SpyShelter cybersecurity lab, we found that any PCs with Nvidia did in fact have 0.dat. Therefore, we believe that as long as this process is signed by Nvidia, then it should be safe to run on your PC.
(Researched by Jon @ SpyShelter Labs)
We’ve found Nvidia Corporation should be the publisher of 0.dat.
How do we know? Our SpyShelter cybersecurity labs focuses on monitoring different types of Windows PC executables and their behaviors for our popular SpyShelter Antispyware software. Learn more about us, and how our cybersecurity team studies Windows PC executables/processes.
The publisher of an executable is the entity responsible for its distribution and authenticity. Most processes/executables on your PC should be signed. The signature on the executable should have been verified through a third party whose job it is to make sure the entity is who it says it is. Find an unsigned executable? You should consider scanning any completely unsigned .exe on your PC.
Below are 4 simple steps you can take to see if the 0.dat process is safe or malware.
Our team at SpyShelter has been studying Windows PC executables for over 15 years, to help fight against spyware, malware, and other threats. SpyShelter has been featured in publications like The Register, PC Magazine, and many others. Now we’re working to share free, actionable, and easy to understand information about Windows executables (processes) with the world, to help as many people as possible keep their devices safe. Learn more about us on our "About SpyShelter” page.