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TSMC reveals that it was attacked by a variant of the WannaCry virus

Chip supplier TSMC was hit by a virus over the weekend, temporarily shutting down operations and prompting concerns of shipment delays. It seems as though the firm has identified the virus to be related to WannaCry, malicious code formally associated with North Korea according to the US, the UK and Australia.

“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 in a statement. “This virus was a variant of the WannaCry virus, which caused infected tools to crash or continually reboot.”

Luckily, TSMC has had things under control since the attack, recovering over 80 percent of its operations on Sunday. Preliminary evaluations show no more than a 2 percent loss of revenue taken from the estimated $8.45bn to $8.55bn third-quarter revenue, meaning TSMC’s losses should be capped at $170 million. Shares fell 0.6 percent in Taipei earlier this week, according to the Financial Times.

The attack “could make the schedule tight” according to Credit Suisse analyst Randy Abrams, but there has been no “lasting impact” on the chips that will inevitably ship to Apple’s iPhones and Nvidia’s GeForce graphics cards.

Moving forward, TSMC asserts that it was not targeted by hackers, with company founder Morris Chang having invested a sizeable amount of the firm’s spending on preventative measures back in May. Abrams has suggested further assessment “before making a broader call on cyber security controls since it is the first time we’ve seen this type of incident.”

KitGuru Says: Luckily, this hasn’t been too painful for TSMC and subsequently its partners. Here’s hoping that this spells the end of the chipmaker’s troubles for the time being.

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