Virus hits contract chipmaker TSMC's operations - Security

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The firm publicly disclosed the attack on Sunday, revealing that it had recovered 80 percent of its impacted tools and was on track to a full resolution by today.

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.

"TSMC has been attacked by viruses before, but this is the first time a virus attack has affected our production lines", the company is quoted as saying. TSMC builds chips for numerous industry's biggest names, including Apple, AMD, Nvidia and Qualcomm. "I was shocked and surprised", he told reporters in Taipei, adding that the company had enhanced its information security systems and protective measures.

"TSMC expects this incident to cause shipment delays and additional costs".

On Saturday, several factories of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.

The company says the incident will cut third-quarter revenue by about 3 per cent. 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.

This leads us to speculate that the virus could have been introduced by a disgruntled employee who may have wanted a few extra days off work, but that's just our imagination running wild.

The outbreak occurred on Friday 3rd August, affecting a number of systems including TSMC's fab tools required for chip fabrication.

"If the most advanced 7nm process products suffer a major impact, then concern could arise over a potential launch delay for next-gen iPhones", SMBC Nikko analysts wrote on Monday.

Chief Executive Officer C.C. Wei had said TSMC's sales will rise this year by a high single-digit percentage in U.S. dollar terms, down from an already reduced projection of about 10 per cent.