Virus briefly halts production at iPhone chip-maker TSMC

Computer chip in circuit board

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, which makes chips for the iPhone and other devices, is recovering from a debilitating computer virus but warned of delayed shipments and reduced revenue because of the impact on its factories.

A critical partner for the launch of the new iPhone the Company is able to volume produce of 7mm chips, which will drive performance while limiting energy usage in the new iPhones.

The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) had to shut down parts of its factories.

Still, TSMC's statement that the virus will affect shipments comes at a sensitive time for Apple, which is TSMC's largest customer and accounts for more than 21 percent of its revenue, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

It has said that any shipment delays resulting from the virus will be made up in the fourth quarter of the year, though they could still have some tangible impact on both confidence and TSMC's bottom line.

"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. It didn't immediately respond to requests for further information Monday.

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

Of course, Bloomberg was most interested in the possible consequences to the production of Apple iPhone chips. I can't imagine TSMC's partners are particularly happy but it does seem that things are to get back on track in the following quarter.

While purely speculation until such time as TSMC comments, speculation points to the company getting hit, intentionally or unintentionally, by a ransomware attack.

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