The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co sources indicate that this was not a cyberattack by any outside hacker and to that extent, sabotage is not suspected.

Computer virus hits Taiwanese iPhone chipmakers plants
Atom Virus Tuesday, August 07, 2018 - 07:24

Apple Inc’s contract manufacturer for chipsets for its iPhones, Taiwan-based Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co has been hit by a virus attack and production badly affected. According to reports, several factories of the company are involved in making the chips and almost all of them have been affected due to the virus. 

The company says while a few factories have identified and isolated the virus and production has been resumed, many are still being attended to, and it may even be the end of this week before production restarts in all affected factories.

The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co sources indicate that this was not a cyberattack by any outside hacker and to that extent, sabotage is not suspected till now.

TSMC makes chips for Apple and Apple solely relies on them to supply all their chips. With the launch of Apple’s next iPhone just weeks away, naturally there is consternation all around on the impact of this disruption in production activities at TSMC. The financial loss to the chipmaker would be separately assessed. Some of the fabrication tools have been at the receiving end of this virus attack. 

The software team at TSMC might have to clean up the devices and reload the software and reprogram the tools to restore order in the assembly line. More details may be shared by the company this week. Experts have been reminded about the WannaCry malware which had also attacked large corporations causing a lot of damage.

Apart from the practical delays, if any, caused to the shipping of the new iPhones from Apple due to this loss in production of chips, this kind of development affects the market sentiments also, particularly in the stock markets.

Apple has just had a record making $1 trillion market-cap and continues to enjoy investors’ confidence in its ability to make and sell world class products and command a premium over others in the product lines they exist in.

TSMC has also had its own share of ups and downs and the company had informed the media that it hopes to post better performance figures for the next financial year. The current virus related issue may not alter this hope.

Show us some love! Support our journalism by becoming a TNM Member - Click here.