Virus briefly halts production at iPhone chip-maker TSMC

TSMC expects to have all its factories back to normal by Monday but exact impact on supplies for new iPhone models is not yet known

The virus hit the company's computer network late Friday and spread to machines used to make chips and processors, TSMC said in a statement Sunday. (TSMC) is recovering from a major internal computer virus outbreak that ravaged its systems, forcing the chipmaker to shut down several factories.

It is the first time a virus had ever brought down a TSMC facility, recalling the WannaCry cyberattacks of 2017 that forced corporations around the world to suspend operations as they rooted out the ransomware. It maintained its 2018 forecast of boosting revenue by high single digits in US dollar terms. More detailed information on the situation will be shared on Monday.

The firm is the latest to fall prey to a growing global scourge.

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The renewed sanctions target the trade of automobiles, coal, gold and other metals, as well as Iranian purchases of U.S. dollars. The first round of USA sanctions on Iran goes into effect in August, followed by ones targeting Iran's oil exports in November.


"TSMC has been attacked by viruses before, but this is the first time a virus attack has affected our production lines", Chief Financial Officer Lora Ho told Bloomberg News by phone.

In the meantime, the exact implications of the incident for Apple are unknown.

Aside from this issue, both Apple and TSMC are having a good year, with Apple boasting a market value in excess of $1 trillion. TMSC is the largest semiconductor manufacturer in the world and is responsible for producing iPhone processors for Apple. August is a big month for manufacturing as we're leading into the holiday season and consumer devices are being made now, but you can't make those new expensive products without chips made by TSMC if you're one of their customers. The company didn't immediately respond to CNET's request for further comment.

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One showed a cellphone video of a drone hovering over a residential street two blocks away and then crashing into a building. Last year, 125 people were killed over four months of violent clashes between anti-Maduro protesters and armed forces.


The virus outbreak was due to "misoperation" during the software installation process for a new tool, the company said in the statement.

The cause of the issues was a computer virus which wasn't introduced by a hacker, said TSMC.

At this point in time, the details of the virus are scarce but the shutdowns prevailed as TSMC ramped up its chip production for the 2018 iPhone models.

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