Last week, Apple iPhone’s primary chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) temporarily shutdown after being hit by a computer virus. Today, the company has admitted that the reason behind virus-induced downtime was the use of unpatched Windows systems.
According to a report from V3 (via 9to5Mac), TSMC admitted the outbreak in a press conference today. It said that the outbreak of the WannaCry virus – linked to North Korea – caused the production outage. The WannaCry virus affected unpatched Windows 7 systems running critical processes at a number of its production facilities over the weekend.
TSMC had initially said about an unspecified computer virus, but now its confirmed to be WannaCry. The WannaCry ransomware attack was first seen in May 2017. It was estimated to have attacked more than 200,000 PCs across 150 countries. While there were quite a few patches issued by Microsoft to fix the vulnerability, TSMC hadn’t patched its Windows 7 systems at the production facilities.
The Chinese chip manufacturing company caters to a number of popular brands including NVIDIA, Qualcomm, AMD, and even Apple. The company is currently said to be working on Apple’s A12 chipset as well, which is expected to power the new iPhones to be unveiled later this year.
While it’s unclear whether this production shut down will impact Apple’s upcoming iPhone models, Fubon Research (via CNBC) on Monday published a note forecasting around 1.5 million to 1.7 million A12 chips being delayed.