IPhone chip maker TSMC fights virus at factories

IPhone chip maker TSMC fights virus at factories

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the electronics parts maker that is the sole supplier for chipset for Apple's iPhone, shut down manufacturing plants on Friday night after several of its factories were hit by a computer virus. TSMC said about 80% of affected machines were restored on August 5; the rest were expected to be up and running on August 6. It's also planning new iPad and Apple Watch models, devices that have historically also used chips produced by TSMC.

"TSMC has been attacked by viruses before, but this is the first time a virus attack has affected our production lines", said TSMC CFO Lora Ho to Bloomberg. TSMC says no confidential information was compromised in the virus attack and most customers have been notified.

TSMC, short for Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, is the main manufacturer of processors for Apple's (AAPL) iPhones and iPads. The company didn't immediately respond to CNET's request for further comment. She didn't reveal just how much financial disruption the attack has caused on the company, but did add that the firm would reduce third quarter revenue by 3 percent, equal to $255 million, from its previous guidance.

TSMC spent the weekend scrambling to get its operations back to normal.

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KGI Securities said in a report on Monday that while some of TSMC's 12-inch wafer shipments would be delayed, the impact to the upcoming iPhone launch was limited because "the upstream supply chain usually prepares for these incidents and manufactures surplus chipsets during the initial ramp-up stage". The details will be communicated with each customer individually over the next few days, it said.

The company noted that among the systems infected were a number of fabrication tools across multiple factories.

Shares in TSMC in Taipei were down 1% in late morning trading on Monday.

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