Elon Musk has confirmed via Twitter, an earlier report from Teslarati, that states that Tesla’s Nevada factory was a target for a ransomware attack. The attack never happened, and was successfully dodged owing to an employee who refused $1 million and worked with the FBI to prevent the attack.
Much appreciated. This was a serious attack.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 27, 2020
Egor Igorevich Kriuchkov, a Russian citizen, wanted to install malicious software into Tesla’s private computer system. This malware, had it been successfully installed, would’ve given the Russian hackers, access into the company’s systems. Then they could have used all this information to blackmail Tesla to pay ransom. To do this, Kriuchkov needed an internal Tesla employee who could plant the malware.
According to the complaint published by the US department of justice, hackers had been conspiring with hi associates from July 15, 2020, to about Aug. 22, 2020, to recruit a Tesla employee who could give them this access for $1 million. But the employee alerted the FBI, who investigated and filed a complaint against the person.
“Egor Igorevich Kriuchkov, 27, a citizen of Russia, was charged in a complaint with one count of conspiracy to intentionally cause damage to a protected computer. He was arrested on Aug. 22, 2020, in Los Angeles and had his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Alexander F. MacKinnon in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, California, who ordered Kriuchkov detained pending trial.” wrote the US department of justice.
The US department of justice did not say that the attacks were against Tesla, it only referred to it as “a company”. The news site, Teslarati reported a step by step account on what happened. According to Teslarati, on august 19, when the tesla employee was ina a meeting with Kriuchkov where he gave certain important details, the employee was wearing an FBI wire. This way, the FBI successfully captured him when he tried to flee the country.