TSMC Elaborates on Virus Incident

Article By : Jonas Klar, EE Times Asia

WannaCry virus causes delays in third quarter shipments

TAIPEI — TSMC has during a press conference on the Taiwan Stock Exchange elaborated on the production issue caused by a computer virus last week, on Friday, August 3rd.

The statement provided the following timeline of events:

  1. This event was caused by misoperation during the software installation process for a new tool. When this tool was installed on August 3, it was not first isolated and confirmed to be virus-free before connecting to the Company’s computer network, allowing the virus to enter the network.
  2. This virus was a variant of the WannaCry virus, which caused infected tools to crash or continually reboot.
  3. This virus infected fab tools and automated materials handling systems, as well as related computer systems, which used Windows 7 without patched software for their tool automation interface. It caused affected tools to become inoperable and rendered certain automated materials handling systems unable to function normally.
  4. TSMC’s primary computer systems, including production information and customer data, were not affected by this virus outbreak.
  5. After the event occurred, TSMC immediately shut down affected tools and automated materials handling systems, and applied patches to all affected tools and systems.

As previously reported by EE Times, the company expects delays in third quarter shipments. The official TSMC statement, however, is slightly more optimistic than the original report, expecting the incident “impacting no more than two percent of third quarter revenues,” as well as also impacting “third quarter gross margin by approximately one percentage point.” TSMC is also confident to have completely recovered its losses by the fourth quarter of 2018.

— Jonas Klar is an editor for EE Times Asia

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