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Virus Hits Chip Manufacturer’s Equipment After Botched Software Install

TSMC is major chip supplier for Apple

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, a major supplier of the A11 chip Apple uses in its iPhone X, was recently hit by a computer virus that resulted in decreased production based on key fabrication machines being taken offline.

According to the company, the virus spread across TSMC’s network following a “mis-operation 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.”

Gauging volume of reported cybersecurity incidents in a range of industries including manufacturing, healthcare, transportation, utilities and many others, the IoT Security Foundation found the manufacturing sector reported the highest number of network security incursions.

According to the group, “Most industrial environments were not designed with cybersecurity in mind. Manufacturing systems are now moving from closed systems into IP-based cyber-physical systems, at which vulnerabilities are created. This is exacerbated because legitimate manufacturing components communicate with specific protocols within an industry network.”

TSMC on Aug. 3 said the virus “affected a number of computer system and fab tools in Taiwan. The degree of infection varied by fab.” A solution was deployed and the company reported 80% of “impacted tools had been recovered, and the company expects full recover on August 6.”

Underlining the monetary impact this type of cybersecurity incident can cause, TSMC estimated the impact to Q3 revenue in the range of at around $225 million and adjusted its revenue guidance accordingly, CNN reported.

In addition to supplying its chip technologies for Apple, TSMC counts among its customers Qualcomm, Altera, Broadcom, Conexant, Marvell, NVIDIA and others. – RCR Wireless Limited

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