TSMC shut down by WannaCry variant

Avast Security News Team, Aug 7, 2018 12:16:14 AM

Semiconductor giant TSMC was hit with a ransomware variant on Friday, but the company claims it was not a cyberattack.

Questions still surround the TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) computer virus incident which shut down operations for the world’s largest semiconductor foundry last Friday, August 3. While the company maintains this was not due to a cyberattack, it also reports that the virus was a variant of WannaCry, the ransomware that terrorized the world last year.

In the TSMC official statement, the company explains:

This virus outbreak occurred due to misoperation during the software installation process for a new tool, which caused a virus to spread once the tool was connected to the Company’s computer network. Data integrity and confidential information was not compromised. TSMC has taken actions to close this security gap and further strengthen security measures.

While the company has already reclaimed 80% capacity, security experts would like more details to be shared. What exactly happened? And if this wasn’t a cyberattack, who injected the WannaCry variant into the third-party tool? Just how random was this virus outbreak?

TSMC is a major supplier of processors to Apple iPhone. It’s other customers include Nvidia and Qualcomm. The company forecasts a 3% loss this quarter due to the halted operations, but they predict they will more than make up for it in the next quarter.

As with all WannaCry cyberthreats, Avast recommends that you:

1 - Update your software as soon as a patch or update is available.

2 - Backup your data - just in case.

3 - Use an antivirus product to protect you and your company against viruses, ransomware, and other threats.