Virus shuts down key iPhone chip supplier

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We don't know which specific factories were hit with the viruses and shut down, and whether they were factories that are important to NVIDIA and its next-gen GeForce GTX 1180 and other graphics cards expected to be released imminently, or Apple's upcoming next-gen iPhone. Its shares fell more than 1 percent in Taipei.

TSMC has said it maintained its previous forecast of high single-digit revenue growth for 2018 as shipments delayed in the third quarter would recover in the fourth quarter.

"Data integrity and confidential information were not compromised".

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"We estimate the impact to third quarter revenue to be about three percent, and impact to gross margin to be about one percentage point", the company said.

It is unclear how the lost days of output would affect the Taiwanese firm, the latest to fall prey to a growing scourge. Globally, cyber crime could cost businesses as much as $US8 trillion in damage over the next five years, according to the World Economic Forum.

"TSMC has been attacked by viruses before, but this is the first time a virus attack has affected our production lines", Chief Financial Officer Lora Ho told Bloomberg News by phone.

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The chip manufacturer didn't specify what it was producing when this problem occurred, but given the timing it was nearly certainly the Apple A12. Currently, we don't know what impact, if any, this virus will have on the production of the new iPhone or on TSMC in general. The company didn't immediately respond to CNET's request for further comment. TSMC attributed the outbreak to a some sort of misoperation when installing software for a new tool, though the company did not go into specifics.

Or it could be some form of corporate sabotage by another chip manufacturer or an enemy of Apple, with someone sneaking into TSMC's factory systems and slipping in the virus; think James Bond but duller and less casually misogynistic.

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