Published: Mon, August 06, 2018
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Apple iPhone's Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC's plants crippled by computer virus

Apple iPhone's Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC's plants crippled by computer virus

Taiwan-based chip manufacturer TSMC warned that the infection, which was eventually contained, will delay shipments of its products and could wipe as much as $257 million off its revenue.

TSMC said that 80 percent of the fabrication tools affected by a virus outbreak Friday evening had been restored and that it expects full recovery on Monday.

TSMC is the exclusive provider of the A12 chips that will power all of this year's iPhones and new iPad Pros.

"TSMC has been attacked by viruses before, but this is the first time a virus attack has affected our production lines", said CFO Lora Ho. Data integrity and confidential information was not compromised.

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The company didn't detail the impact on Apple or other customers.

On Saturday, Bloomberg reported that a computer virus had caused so many issues at TSMC that several of its production facilities had to cease operations.

TSMC said the incident is expected to impact 3% of its third-quarter revenues, and delayed shipments in the third quarter will be recovered in the fourth quarter.

Apple, as well as other TSMC customers have yet to officially address the incident and how it affects their roadmap, if at all. The company didn't immediately respond to CNET's request for further comment. The company said it was confident shipments delayed in the third quarter will be recovered in the fourth quarter 2018, and maintained its forecast of high single-digit revenue growth for 2018 in US dollars given on July 19, 2018. 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. Once in the system, the virus used the company's computer network to spread and infect multiple fabs and tools. To the big questions concerning the financial impact of the virus attack, and the production impact, the TSMC representative was reticent to answer.

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