UPDATE: Taiwan chip manufacturing giant TSMC has revealed further details regarding the computer virus which brought its manufacturing plants to a standstill over the weekend. The infection has now been identified as a version of the infamous WannaCry ransomware. According to security experts this worm originated in North Korea and was responsible for a global attack in May 2017 that caused chaos in some countries.

“This virus outbreak occurred due to misoperation 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,” TSMC said in a statement. “This virus was a variant of the WannaCry virus, which caused infected tools to crash or continually reboot.”

The good news is that TSMC has taken steps to remove the virus from its systems, but not before it cause a disruption in manufacturing that could cost TSMC upwards of $200m. 

Original Story: 07-Jul-2018 - TSMC Fabrication Plants Hit With Virus, Will Cause Chip Delays and Added Costs

Taiwan-based chip manufacturer TSMC has found its computer systems crippled by a virus over the weekend. The computer virus was contained yesterday afternoon, but not without great cost.  TSMC has said the incident will cause shipment delays and additional costs for silicon.

The initial virus outbreak occurred on Friday, August 3rd, and affected a number of computers and fabrication tools across TSMC’s Taiwanese fabrication plants. The severity of the infection varied from plant to plant but it has had a fairly significant impact on manufacturing.

As of right now, the virus has been identified and the problem has been contained. TSMC is aware of a solution and expects a full recovery at its fabrication plants at some point this evening.

“This virus outbreak occurred due to misoperation 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,” explained TSMC in a statement. “Data integrity and confidential information was not compromised. TSMC has taken actions to close this security gap and further strengthen security measures.”

In terms of actual costs to TSMC, it’s a little eye-watering. It estimates the overall impact to Q3 revenue will be around 3%. That may not sound like much, but based on TSMC’s own guidance forecasts for the quarter, that comes to a $256.5 million loss from net revenue if $8.55b. Oops.

It’s unclear at the moment what effect, if any, this is going to have on gamers. TSMC is a chief provider of chips for Apple, but it could also potentially impact both AMD and Nvidia’s GPU production. It’s almost certainly too late to have a noticeable effect on the upcoming GeForce GTX 11 series launch though.

Source: TSMC

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