A Russian man traveling to the US was recently booked and charged by the US authorities for targeting a Nevada-based company and convincing an employee of the company to plant malware in exchange for $1 million.
Elon Musk today revealed in a tweet that the Nevada-based company is Tesla. In a tweet, Musk wrote, “Much appreciated. This was a serious attack,” in response to a report by Teslarati mentioning the attack.
The attempt to hack Tesla and get hold of its secrets by planting a malicious insider was foiled when the employee in question approached the FBI and spilled the details to the authorities. As per court documents, the FBI has charged a man named Egor Igorevich Kriuchkov who tried to convince a Tesla employee by approaching him on WhatsApp messenger. The two had previously met in 2016.
After a couple of meetings, the Russian man told the employee that he is working with a Russian hacking group and wants the employee to install a custom malware on Tesla’s internal system. The man promised to reward $1 million in exchange for it. Kriuchkov revealed that it took $250,000 to develop the malware.
The hacking was intended to install malware that would function by uploading sensitive data files to a remote server, blackmail the carmaker’s company and demand a huge sum of money in exchange for the files.
The documents reveal that the employee informed Tesla and the FBI after the first meeting with Kriuchkov who has now been arrested and might face jail time of up to 5 years if found guilty.