TSMC says virus that shut down its plants is a WannaCry variant

by Lawrence Cooper August 7, 2018, 0:09
TSMC says virus that shut down its plants is a WannaCry variant

On Friday a "misoperation during the installation process for a new tool" caused a virus to spread around chip-manufacturing behemoth TSMC's computer network and has caused several thousand wafers to be scrapped. At the moment, 80 percent of affected systems have been recovered and TSMC says it "expects full recovery on August 6". It's also planning new iPad and Apple Watch models, devices that have historically also used chips produced by TSMC. AMD, Qualcomm, Nvidia, Xilinx and several ASIC developers are other 7nm chip customers of the foundry, the sources said.

What isn't known is exactly what TSMC was targeted by or which factories were hit with the company having manufacturing facilities in Taiwan, mainland China and the U.S. "TSMC has taken actions to close this security gap and further strengthen security measures", Chief Financial Officer Lora Ho said by phone Sunday.

TSMC said the disruption is expected to knock 3% off its third-quarter revenue, which it had previously forecast would be in the range of $8.45 billion and $8.55 billion.

"Since TSMC indicated the delayed shipment from this incident will be recovered in the following quarter, we think there will be no meaningful impact on Apple's new coming iPhone", explains Fubon Research, predicting a delay of 1.5 million to 1.7 million next-generation A12 chips. The details will be communicated with each customer individually over the next few days. After the virus got onto some of the factory computers, some of its fabrication tools had become infected. More detailed information on the situation will be shared on Monday. Chief Executive Officer C C Wei had said TSMC's sales will rise this year by a high single-digit percentage in United States dollar terms, down from an already reduced projection of about 10 percent.

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