Following the rumors of a delayed shipment of Apple’s latest iPhone, the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has come forward explaining why that may be so. According to TSMC, several of the manufacturer’s chip-fabrication factories have been shut down due to a WannaCry-like computer virus that is holding the firm’s data hostage.
WannaCry is a computer ransomware that encrypted the data of many large corporations and hospitals in 2017, demanding a ransom payment in return. While most ransomwares spread through malicious emails or file exchanges where the computer user clicks on the infecting files or downloads them, WannaCry stood out as one of the most notorious ransomwares till date as it carried the ability to self-spread and self-replicate without the need of any user input.
TSMC was forced to shutdown its operations as many of its computer systems and manufacturing machines were caught in the grasp of a WannaCry variant ransomware according to a statement release. The company claims that its systems were not attacked remotely or locally, but the virus took its origin from when a supplier installed faulty software onto the company’s network without running a virus scan. The virus spread rapidly to over 10,000 of the company’s machines across its factories, impacting the plants that cater to Apple’s chip production heavily.
TSMC has ensured its clients that there was no breach of security or violation of client privacy in the attack. All designs and information are secure with the firm. The virus was only able to shut down the systems causing factory failures over the weekend. TSMC has said that it will resume operations wholly very soon but this temporary shut down may cost one of its clients heavily.
Apple is expected to release three versions of the iPhone this September. With this attack having unfolded in the midst of a season of rapid iPhone chip production, Apple is expected to lose out on approximately USD $256 million in revenue as shipments of its products are delayed and the entire schedule is set back.