Computer Virus Hits GlobalFoundries' Essex Plant

Jun 23, 2017

A computer virus recently infected a number of manufacturing tools at the GlobalFoundries plant in Essex Junction, a company spokesman confirmed Friday evening.

"I can confirm a small number of fab tools were impacted by a computer virus," wrote GlobalFoundries Director of Corporate Communications Jason Gorss in an email to VPR. "As per our security measures, we took these tools offline to isolate them and avoid any further spread. Some of these tools have already been brought back up and the rest are being addressed now."

According to a Department of Defense press release from March 17, that GlobalFoundries facility is in the process of fulfilling a $99,754,556 contract for "leading edge, current, and legacy microelectronics and trusted processes for the Department of Defense and other federal agencies."

Gorss did not initially say whether the computer virus affected any tools involved in the defense contract.

A 2012 report from the Government Accounting Office warned that vulnerabilities in the supply chain for "National Security-Related Agencies" could jeopardize those agencies' work.

The report said potential attackers "include corporate spies, corrupt government officials, cyber vandals, disgruntled employees, foreign military, government agents or spies, radical activists, purveyors of counterfeit goods, or criminals."

GlobalFoundries officials have not said whether or not they believe the virus specifically targeted the manufacturing plant.