Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. better known as TSMC was hit with a virus Friday evening that has put production to a stand still.
TSMC has grown to become the largest independent semiconductor foundry in the world, with profits last year of $11.6 billion. The company has benefitted from partnerships with smartphone companies like Apple, which produces the designs for its own A-series chips and then contracts out their manufacturing to foundries.As a critical supplier for Apple and Qualcomm, delays in manufacturing could be extremely costly.
At this time, TSMC believes that it has been able to contain the problem and prevent further infections of its machinery from occurring. However, manufacturing will not be completely back to normal status until Sunday at the earliest. Although this is the first time that TSMC has had regular business operations put on hold, the WannaCry ransomware remains one of the most costly cyber attacks in recent history. Taiwan’s government websites have sustained 20 million cyberattacks per month, with the bulk believed to be originating from China. Jess Macy Yu at Reuters reported earlier this summerthat Chinese cyberattacks had grown more successful, even as their total volume has declined. Taiwan’s local elections will be held later this year in November, and the number and intensity of attacks is expected to increase as the date approaches.