Taiwan's TSMC shares drop over 1.2 percent after computer virus outbreak

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On Saturday, several factories of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.

This virus outbreak occurred due to mis operation 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, TSMC said.

TSMC said the disruption is expected to knock 3% off its third-quarter revenue, which it had previously forecast would be in the range of $8.45 billion and $8.55 billion. TSMC says no confidential information was compromised in the virus attack and most customers have been notified.

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TSMC is now the world's largest independent semiconducer in the industry, with the company making NVIDIA's new 12nm GPUs for their upcoming GTX 11 series graphics cards, and the new 7nm chips for Apple's new iPhones.

It is unclear how the lost days of output would affect the Taiwanese firm, the latest to fall prey to a growing scourge. Cyber crime could cost businesses as much as $8 trillion in damage over the next five years, according to the World Economic Forum. To the big questions concerning the financial impact of the virus attack, and the production impact, the TSMC representative was reticent to answer.

Apple has not commented on the incident.

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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. The US company in the past has contracted chip foundries owned by Samsung Electronics, its rival in global mobile devices. That helped the market look past a reduced revenue outlook. Chief executive officer CC Wei had said sales would rise this year by a high single-digit percentage in U.S. dollar terms, down from an already reduced projection of about 10%.

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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