Monday, 19 November, 2018

IPhone Supplier TSMC Shut Down Several Factories After Computer Virus Hits Systems

TSMC faced a virus attack Saturday TSMC faced a virus attack Saturday
Cecil Davis | 06 August, 2018, 11:33

The company said that a number of its computer systems and fab tools had been infected.

The company is still cleaning the malware off its equipment, but expects to be finished by tomorrow. For its part, TSMC is predicting strong growth in the latter half of this year thanks in large part to its work with Apple on the iPhone.

This was no minor problem.

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A computer virus halted production at several Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) factories on Friday night, causing a severe disruption as the company ramps up chipmaking for new Apple iPhones. But it sees no long-term difficulties. 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. No individual or organization has taken credit for the attack though TSMC representatives have said that the virus was not introduced by a hacker. In the past, the USA company has employed foundries owned by Samsung Electronics Co., its rival in global mobile devices. As of right now, TSMC has not stated whether this virus was a form of ransomware or something else, so details are scarce. Apple Inc. did not immediately return a message seeking comment. More detailed information on the situation will be shared on Monday. Chief executive officer CC Wei had said sales would rise this year by a high single-digit percentage in U.S. dollar terms, down from an already reduced projection of about 10%. The virus then spread once the tool was connected to TSMC's computer network.

The virus outbreak was due to "misoperation" during the software installation process for a new tool, the company said in the statement.

TSMC's chief financial officer Lora Ho told Bloomberg that the chipmaker has been attacked by viruses in the past, but never has malware affected the company's production lines.