Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), is Apple’s iPhone processor exclusive manufacturer and late Friday night the company was hit by a virus, which forced it to shut down a handful of its factories.
Both the virus and the shutdown have been confirmed by TSMC representatives but, according to Bloomberg, the virus ‘was not introduced by a hacker.’
Chief Financial Officer Lora Ho stated that:
“TSMC has been attacked by viruses before, but this is the first time a virus attack has affected our production lines.”
It is unclear if the factories hit by the virus were the same ones that produce the main processors for the iPhones, but a disruption of this magnitude could prove to be a disaster for Apple, who is set on unveiling their new iPhones this fall.
TSMC had announced earlier this year that it had begun to produce the 7mm chips which are supposed to increase performance while limiting energy usage.
Cyberattacks are not a new issue for Taiwan – the country faces around 20 million cyberattacks per month, most of them originating from China. The number is expected to rise within the following months as Taiwan’s local elections approach in November.
The relationship between Taiwan and China is still extremely strained and China has made it a priority to become world leader in semiconductor manufacturing – it is easy to see where people will be pointing fingers, but so far TSMC has kept quiet about placing the blame.
The production in the TSMC factories that were affected are most likely to be disrupted for a few more days and the company will be expected to release new information concerning the attack sometime this week.