TSMC Investigation Discovered WannaCry Variant Responsible for Factory Shutdowns

WannaCryThe Taiwanese chipmaking firm TSMC has released new details regarding the computer virus that forced the company to shutdown multiple factories earlier this week. The investigation determined the virus in question was a variant of the WannaCry ransomware. The virus spread through the factories networks due to unpatched computer terminals running Windows 7. The virus reportedly spread across 10,000 computers in TSMC facilities.

WannaCry is a type of virus known as ransomware in which the program encrypts the computer’s files and demands a payment, usually in cryptocurrency, to decrypt the computers. If the amount is not paid, the computer and all its data will remain encrypted. WannaCry takes advantage of a formerly unpatched network vulnerability known as Eternal Blue to breach and spread throughout a between network.

TSMC officials believe that the initial point of infection came from a supplier installing infected software without scanning for malware. Due to WannaCry’s network breaching capabilities, the ransomware spread to other computers like wildfire. According to a statement released by TSMC, 80% of the company’s affected tools have been recovered. The chipmaking firm also expects the outbreak will cause some shipment delays. TSMC’s CEO C. C. Wei states that the company is revising its security procedures.

TSMC is not the only company to have been a victim of this ransomware variant. WannaCry took the world by storm on may 2017 affecting around 200,000 computers over 150 countries. It is considered to be one of the most prominent cyberattacks in history. It caused significant infrastructure problems in the public sector in countries like Ukraine and the United Kingdom. It suspected that WannaCry was developed and weaponized by North Korea.

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