Apple supplier TSMC forced to shut down factories after virus infection

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iPhone chip maker TSMC fights virus at factories

Shares of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd fell more than 1.2 percent on Monday after the world's largest contract chipmaker and Apple Inc supplier said a computer virus outbreak will hit its third-quarter results.

A virus on Friday evening nearly shut down TSMC production, Bloomberg reports, with 80% of the fabrication tools having been affected. With new iPhones expected in the autumn and TSMC likely working on a new chip, likely the 7nm A12, shutting down factories temporarily could mean delays for the next wave of iPhones.

"TSMC has been attacked by viruses before, but this is the first time a virus attack has affected our production lines", the company is quoted as saying.

August is a big month for manufacturing as we're leading into the holiday season and consumer devices are being made now, but you can't make those new expensive products without chips made by TSMC if you're one of their customers.

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

The report quotes a Sanford C. Bernstein analyst who said in a research note on Monday that he thinks all of TSMC's 12-inch wafer fabrication plants had been infected.

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We should expect shipment delays and additional costs to be incurred in order for the company to send out scheduled orders.

The company says the incident will cut third-quarter revenue by about 3 per cent.

TSMC spent the weekend scrambling to get its operations back to normal. "I was shocked and surprised", he told reporters in Taipei, adding that the company had enhanced its information security systems and protective measures.

It plans to give customers details in the coming days on when they can expect to receive the delayed shipments.

Rumors that TSMC had suffered a hacker attack were incorrect, it said.

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