Apple Supplier TSMC Held Hostage by Hackers in Data Breach

· 3 min read
Apple Supplier TSMC Held Hostage by Hackers in Data Breach
Apple Supplier TSMC Held Hostage by Hackers in Data Breach / TSMC

In a concerning development, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the world's largest contract chipmaker, has fallen victim to a significant data breach. The LockBit ransomware gang believed to be associated with Russia, has listed TSMC as one of its targets on their dark web leak site.

With TSMC commanding a massive 60% share of the global foundry market, this breach has far-reaching implications for the company and its customers. The ransomware gang is demanding an unprecedented $70 million ransom, making it one of history's largest known ransom demands.

The LockBit ransomware gang, known for its nefarious activities, has set its sights on TSMC, sending shockwaves through the tech industry. As a major player in the semiconductor manufacturing sector, TSMC's vulnerability to such an attack raises serious concerns.

The gang, operating via the dark web, has demanded an exorbitant $70 million ransom from TSMC, leveraging the threat of publishing stolen data if their demands are unmet. William Thomas, a renowned cyber threat intelligence researcher at Equinix, describes this ransom demand as one of the largest ever witnessed, underscoring the gravity of the situation.

The breach has far-reaching implications, with the LockBit ransomware gang targeting TSMC's sensitive data. However, TSMC's spokesperson has provided some reassurance, stating that customer information remains uncompromised. The breach primarily affects server initial setup and configuration data, which, while significant, does not directly impact TSMC's business operations.

Following the incident, TSMC swiftly terminated its data exchange with the implicated supplier, Kinmax Technology, in line with established security protocols and standard operating procedures. This proactive response aims to mitigate further damage and prevent future breaches.

TSMC confirms data breach after LockBit cyberattack on third-party supplier
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Kinmax Technology, an IT services, and consulting organization, is at the center of this data breach incident. The company specializes in networking, cloud computing, storage, security, and database management. Kinmax has acknowledged the breach, offering sincere apologies to affected customers.

The leaked information primarily pertains to the system installation preparations that Kinmax provides as default configurations to its customers. While the number of impacted customers remains undisclosed, Eric Huang, vice president of Kinmax Technology, refrained from providing further details.

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Kinmax Technology boasts partnerships with industry giants such as Nvidia, HPE, Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix, and VMware. These partnerships potentially expose these companies to the consequences of the breach. Whether the incident impacted these organizations remains unknown, leaving them to confront the unsettling uncertainty surrounding their data security.