Chipmaker TSMC Hit by Virus Outbreak

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Taiwanese semiconductor firm TSMC has revealed that a malware outbreak which affected its IT systems last week could result in a 3% hit to revenue.

The iPhone chipmaker said in an update on Sunday that the virus “affected a number of computer systems and fab tools” on Friday evening local time, but that it was believed there would be no lasting damage.

“The degree of infection varied by fab. TSMC contained the problem and found a solution. As of 14:00 Taiwan time, about 80% of the company’s impacted tools have been recovered, and the Company expects full recovery on August 6,” it said.

“TSMC expects this incident to cause shipment delays and additional costs. We estimate the impact to third quarter revenue to be about 3%, and impact to gross margin to be about one percentage point. The Company is confident shipments delayed in third quarter will be recovered in the fourth quarter 2018, and maintains its forecast of high single-digit revenue growth for 2018 in U.S. dollars given on July 19, 2018.”

The world’s largest dedicated semiconductor foundry said that neither data integrity nor confidential information were compromised by the incident.

“This virus outbreak occurred due to mis-operation during the software installation process for a new tool, which caused a virus to spread once the tool was connected to the Company’s computer network,” it explained.

“TSMC has taken actions to close this security gap and further strengthen security measures.”

The incident comes at a bad time for the firm as it looks to ramp up production for the second half of the year in preparation for some big-name autumn product launches. Aside from Apple, clients include the likes of Qualcomm, Nvidia and AMD.

TSMC said it was is working closely with these customers on their wafer delivery schedule.

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