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Silicon Wafer Giant GlobalWafers Resumes Production Days After Hack Attack

GlobalWafers Japan
(Image credit: GWJ)

The Japanese subsidiary of GlobalWafers had to shut down production on Monday in the wake of a spate of cyberattacks. GlobalWafers Japan (GWJ) has since investigated (PDF, Japanese) the "illegal… unauthorized access" of its networks and the extent of any system corruption. From Thursday, it started to restore production capacity in sequence.

At first reading, the systems hacking incident sounds like it would be rather impactful, with systems unplugged on Monday and the production lines only starting to be recommissioned towards the end of the week. However, Taiwan's UDN reports that the emergency shutdowns implemented at GWJ will have "little impact on the overall operation."

GlobalWafers has four wafer production factories in Japan, under the control of GWJ, but we don't know how many were affected by the hacking incident or to what extent. While GlobalWafers has production facilities in other countries like its home base of Taiwan, South Korea, Mainland China, the US and the EU – its financial reports indicate that the Japanese facilities are its biggest production centers for 12-inch semiconductor wafers.

GlobalWafers Japan, Niigata (Image credit: GWJ)

GWJ has lost several days of production to the hack attack, but it is encouraging to hear it is confident there will be no lasting impact on its output. With all the other stores of hacks, shortages, fires, power outages, and so on in recent days and weeks, we don't need any more logs on the semiconductor supply bonfire.

We must mention that little was revealed in the way of clues about why GWJ was targeted and hacked. However, it wasn't just the production servers that were attacked. In its PDF about the system outage, GWJ admitted that "information related to customers was leaked."

To conclude this sorry tale and clean up the hacking mess, GWJ is busy going through customer and partner contacts, informing them if their data was compromised. Additionally, GWJ will be contacting suppliers, customers, and other partners about practical matters such as (revised) product shipment estimates, in the wake of the cyber attacks and necessary remedial actions.

Mark Tyson is a Freelance News Writer at Tom's Hardware US. He enjoys covering the full breadth of PC tech; from business and semiconductor design to products approaching the edge of reason.