Virus Attack on Chipmaker Could Delay Next iPhone

Hardware

A computer virus over the weekend disrupted the operations of the Asian manufacturer that makes chips for the iPhone and other devices offered by top shelf high-tech companies.

The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. on Sunday said that a virus outbreak Friday evening affected a number of computer systems and fab tools at its facilities in Taiwan.

The incident likely will cause shipment delays and create additional costs, the company said, as well as a 3 percent reduction in revenue and a 1 percent decline in gross margins in the third quarter.

However, TSMC remained optimistic that it could catch up with lost production in the fourth quarter, and still meet its forecast of high single-digit revenue growth for the year.

The degree of infection varied by fab, but 80 percent of the company’s tools affected by the bad software were recovered by Sunday and full recovery was expected by Monday, TMSC explained.

The outbreak occurred due to a “misoperation” when a new software tool was being installed. When the tool was connected to the company’s network, the virus began to spread. However, data integrity and confidential information were not compromised by the malware, according to the company.

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