Taiwan maker of iPhone components hit by virus outbreak

iPhone chip maker TSMC fights virus at factories

It's not clear how many lost days of production the virus has caused TSMC, nor the implication it will have on Apple given that TSMC is the sole manufacturer of its custom chips.

As a major partner of Apple, Nvidia and Qualcomm among others, TSMC has warned that this could cause shipment delays which might impact this year's iPhone and upcoming GeForce line of graphics cards.

TSMC said in its update on August 5 to the development of the incident that it expects full recovery of production on August 6.

The semiconductor company blames the outbreak on a mistake during installation of software for a new tool, which was then connected to its computer network.

It is not thought yet that the attack will delay the much-expected iPhone 9, thought to be under construction now before an expected reveal in September, but the news came as TSMC ups production in anticipation of the launch from its biggest customer. No individual or organization has taken credit for the attack though TSMC representatives have said that the virus was not introduced by a hacker. However, TSMC has denied this and merely stated that the severity of the infiltration affected each fab differently.

TSMC said the disruption is expected to knock 3% off its third-quarter revenue, which it had previously forecast would be in the range of $8.45 billion and $8.55 billion. CEO CC Wei didn't elaborate on the potential impact on its customers, where the malware originated or how it got past security protocols, says Bloomberg.

Of course being a member of the Tame Apple press, Bloomberg was has been demanding information so it can reassure users that their product launches will still go ahead rather than worrying about what would happen to real technology companies. There was uneven impact across several of its fabs.

This wording seems to imply that the virus either infected the tool being installed or was already on the tool prior to installation.

TSMC expects a 3% drop in revenue for the third quarter, compared to initial guidance, and a 1% drop when it comes to gross margin.

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