TSMC Blames WannaCry for Manufacturing Disruption

From PC Mag: Chipmaker TSMC is blaming a recent manufacturing shutdown on a run-in with the notorious WannaCry ransomware strain.

The infection occurred when a computer carrying a live WannaCry infection was hooked up to TSMC's internal network, CEO C.C. Wei said at a press conference on Monday. The malicious code then spread to unpatched Windows 7 systems across the company's corporate networks, forcing the semiconductor manufacturer to temporarily halt production over the weekend.

WannaCry's involvement may sound strange, given that the ransomware strain has largely been rendered harmless. In 2017, a security researcher famously contained the spread of the computer virus by activating an online "kill switch" that effectively ordered the malicious code to stand down.

The only problem is that the kill switch has a key limitation: it can only tell the ransomware to stand down if the infected computer is connected to the internet.

The affected systems at TSMC appear to have been isolated from the open internet. As a result, the live WannaCry infection led to a mini-outbreak that briefly shut down the company's systems.

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