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Virus Takes TSMC Chip Fabs Offline

06 August 2018

"TSMC has been attacked by viruses before, but this is the first time a virus attack has affected our production lines", chief financial officer Lora Ho told Bloomberg News, though she reportedly kept tight-lipped on how much the disruption cost the chipmaker.

TSMC fabricates chip solutions for Apple and other mobile device vendors, and has reportedly kicked off its shipments for the forthcoming iPhones and other new smartphone models.

"Data integrity and confidential information were not compromised".

Flags of Taiwan and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) are displayed next to its headquarters in Hsinchu, Taiwan October 5, 2017.

"The Company is confident shipments delayed in third quarter will be recovered in the fourth quarter 2018, and maintains its forecast of high single-digit revenue growth for 2018 in United States dollars given on July 19, 2018", TSMC said.

"The issues suffered by TSMC remind us that any organisation, even those working at the forefront of technology development, can fall victim to malware", said Thomas Nuth, director of product at cyber-security company Nozomi Networks. On August 3, TSMC's computer systems in Taiwan were infected with a virus that spread to multiple fabs. The Taiwanese company said the incident, which comes as it ramps up chipmaking for Apple Inc.'s next iPhones, would delay shipments, without specifying which customers would be affected. The company didn't immediately respond to CNET's request for further comment. Apple is, without a doubt, TSMC's most prized contract, as TSMC fought off Samsung to win exclusivity for iPhone chips. It plans to make up for missed shipments in the fourth quarter, however, and remains hopeful that it won't be too hurt by the incident.

It said the attack had featured a "mutation" of the Wannacry ransomware.

Virus Takes TSMC Chip Fabs Offline