iPhone chipmaker hit by virus attack


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.

TSMC intends to make up for the lost time as it heads into the critical holiday season, Apple’s most important quarter. 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, an emailed statement shows. The Taiwanese company said the incident, which comes as it ramps up chipmaking for Apple Inc.’s next iPhones, would delay shipments, without specifying which customers would be affected.

Taiwan’s largest company blamed a variant of the 2017 WannaCry ransomware for the unprecedented shutdown of several plants, as it ramps up chipmaking for Apple Inc’s next iPhones.

The chipmaker estimated that third-quarter revenue would decline by about three percent from a previously forecast $8.45 billion to $8.55 billion and operating margins by about one percentage point, Chief Executive Officer CC Wei said in a statement on Monday. It maintained its 2018 forecast of boosting revenue by high single digits in U.S. dollar terms.

The company faces shipment delays from the infection, which happened when a supplier installed a tainted software without a virus scan and the malware spread through its network and shut down several plants Tainan, Hsinchu and Taichung— home to some of the cutting-edge plants that produce Apple’s semiconductors. The company has to ramps up chipmaking for Apple Inc’s next iPhones.

The incident underscores the global nature of the technology supply chain, in which companies like Apple and Qualcomm Inc. depend on hundreds of suppliers around the world. This is the first time a virus had ever brought down a TSMC facility. The company says no confidential information was compromised in the virus attack.
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