Apple chipmaker TSMC closes factories after computer virus attack

This virus outbreak occurred due to 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, TSMC said.

TSMC is the exclusive provider of the A12 chips that will power all of this year's iPhones and new iPad Pros.

TSMC's chief financial officer Lora Ho told Bloomberg that the chipmaker has been attacked by viruses in the past, but never has malware affected the company's production lines.

"Data integrity and confidential information were not compromised".

Mark Li, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, said in a report on Sunday technology giant Apple was one of the impacted customers but a swift recovery in the fourth quarter should keep the impact minimal.

A virus attack on TSMC, which provides one of the most critical iPhone and iPad components, the processor, took out the Taiwanese company, affecting overall production. "TSMC expects this incident to cause shipment delays and additional costs", the company warned in a statement.

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.

Apple did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Shares in TSMC in Taipei were down 1% in late morning trading on Monday. I can't imagine TSMC's partners are particularly happy but it does seem that things are to get back on track in the following quarter. Chief Executive Officer C C Wei had said TSMC's sales will rise this year by a high single-digit percentage in United States dollar terms, down from an already reduced projection of about 10 percent.

He said he believed the virus was had not been created specifically to target TSMC and the company was not asked by anyone to pay a ransom.

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