Taipei, A computer virus that hit Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) was not caused by a hacker or an employee with a grudge, the company's CEO said Monday, responding to rumors that TSMC was hit by a cyberattack.
The virus outbreak was a "mistake by TSMC itself," said CEO C.C. Wei (???), who is also the vice chairman of the world's largest contract chipmaker, at a press briefing.
It occurred when a new tool was connected to the company's computer network without having been isolated first to be checked for viruses as a precaution, Wei said.
Having installed more than 10,000 fab tools in the past, TSMC "very much regretted" that such negligence would happen, he said.
Because humans inevitably make mistakes, Wei said TSMC will install an automatic checking system to ensure that such an incident does not repeat itself in the future.
Asked about suspicions that the virus was orchestrated by an employee with a grudge against the company, Wei said there was no such person and that the virus was also not the work of a hacker.
Wei said all of the tools affected by the virus were declared virus-free on Sunday, but production was only being ramped up slowly as a cautionary measure and had not yet reached full capacity as of Monday afternoon.
In a statement Sunday, TSMC estimated the virus attack, which occurred on the evening of Aug. 3, could cut TSMC's revenue for the third quarter of this year by about 3 percent.
Wei said on Monday, however, that with the recovery of output and close communications with clients, the losses from the virus may not surpass 2 percent of third quarter revenue.
He also said the most important task at present is to get production back on schedule as soon as possible and ensure the quality of TSMC's products, rather than focusing on seeking compensation for damages and determining who was responsible.
"That will be a problem for later," he said.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel