Elon Musk confirms Tesla Nevada factory was target of 'serious' cyberattack
A Russian man allegedly offered Tesla employee $1 million to install malware into Tesla’s internal network
August 28, 2020 / 12:29 PM IST
Tesla's Gigafactory in Nevada, US was the target of a foiled cyber attack, confirmed CEO Elon Musk via Twitter on August 27.
Musk was responding to a Teslarati's report, which claimed that a Russian man approached a Tesla employee in Nevada through WhatsApp, and offered him $1 million to install malware into Tesla’s internal network.
Musk wrote: "Much appreciated. This was a serious attack."
As per the report, the worker reported Tesla, who alerted the FBI. What ensued was a sting where the Tesla employee met with the accused pretending to go along the plan. The man was reportedly arrested on August 22 while he was allegedly trying to flee the country.
"The purpose of the conspiracy was to recruit an employee of a company to surreptitiously transmit malware provided by the coconspirators into the company’s computer system, exfiltrate data from the company’s network, and threaten to disclose the data online unless the company paid the coconspirators’ ransom demand," the Justice Department said in the filing on August 23, which falls in line with Teslarati's report.
Accused Egor Igorevich Kriuchkov, 27, allegedly travelled from Russia to Nevada and had several meetings with the Tesla employee.
The complaint stated that Kriuchkov to coaxed the worker with alcohol and fine dining. The discussions regarding the cyberattack were conducted in a car and were recorded by the employee.
The malware was aimed at extracting data from the network and then to threaten the company for ransom money, the statement said.