CEO Elon Musk confirmed via Twitter that a Russian hacker based Tesla’s factory in Nevada, trying to force an organisation employee to mount a virus in exchange for $1million.
Musk stated in a Tweet: “Much appreciated. This was a serious attack,” reacting to a report on Teslarati. He said that the Nevada factory was the target of a “serious cybersecurity attack.”
Prior to the tweet, a 27-year-old Russian national named Egor Igorevich Kriuchkov was arrested and charged by the US authorities.
Kriuchkov attempted to contact one of Tesla ‘s employees (a Russian-speaking migrant) using WhatsApp Messenger to plant malware at Tesla’s Gigafactory in Nevada according to court records.
The two had met back four years ago, in 2016. Kriuchkov promised he would go on holiday to the U.S., and the two agreed to meet in Reno.
The duo met at several events at which Kriuchkov learned that he was collaborating with a group of Russian-based hackers and suggested that the worker instal a bit of malware that was designed specifically for Tesla in the computer system of the organisation.
As a result, he promised to compensate the Tesla delegate for $1 million for the execution.
The malware, which reportedly cost about $250,000, was intended to capture and upload confidential Tesla files and data onto a remote server. From that point on, the hackers could take measures to expose this information online unless Tesla consents to pay a lot of money.
But the attempt to hack Tesla was thwarted when, after his first meeting with Kriuchkov, the representative told the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Tesla about the hacking scheme.
Kriuchkov was charged with conspiracy knowingly causing damage to a protected Computer by trying to hire a representative to carry malware into a device. He could face up to five years in prison each time he found guilty.
Tesla employee turns down $1 million, works with FBI, and helps thwart a planned cybersecurity attack on Giga Nevada https://t.co/PwIt7x35As
— TESLARATI (@Teslarati) August 27, 2020