Tower Semiconductor rebounding quickly from recent cyberattack

Tower Semiconductor tops Wall Street profit forecast in Q1.
Image: Tower Semiconductor

Tower Semiconductor announced it has resumed operations following a recent cyberattack. The company estimates its sites will be back at full production capacity within days.

However, the firm stated that the security incident would have “some level of impact” on its third-quarter financial results.

Cyberattack and Response

Tower Semiconductor revealed its information technology (IT) security team detected an assault on its digital infrastructure on September 4. The firm has not detailed the nature of the event or the impact on its systems. However, the brand noted it preemptively suspended its manufacturing activity and shut down its servers to contain the unauthorized intrusion.

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Six days after rogue operators attempted to access its network, the manufacturer revealed that it had effectively recovered from the event. But the company admitted the temporary shutdown of its production line would affect its financial performance in the current period.

The chipmaker also said it contacted the appropriate authorities and cybersecurity specialists following the attack.

What Happened?

Because of the limited nature of the chipmaker’s disclosures, the precise circumstances surrounding its recent cyberattack are a mystery.

However, the rapid recovery of the firm’s production capacity indicates it has robust disaster response procedures in place. In addition, Israeli newspaper Calcalist reports Tower Semiconductor holds insurance to cover damages incurred during a cyberattack.

The publication also offered a theory regarding the company’s data breach from an IT expert.

Yossi Rachman, director of security research for Cybereason, posited the brand was the victim of a ransomware campaign. Rachman explained cybercriminals deploy viruses against several companies at once to maximize their payouts. He also noted manufacturers that utilize software to monitor their production lines remotely are vulnerable to attack because their equipment often runs on outdated platforms.

Ultimately, the increasing digitalization of society will increase the occurrence of assaults on companies’ technological frameworks. Though online tools allow firms to improve operational efficiency significantly, they also provide cybercriminals with new vectors of attack. For instance, hackers recently disrupted Honda’s global development, production, and sales infrastructure with a ransomware deployment.

However, semiconductor makers can learn an important lesson from Tower Semiconductor’s online intrusion incident. The combination of preparation and dynamic action can curtail the impact a cyberattack has on a brand’s digital infrastructure.


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