Russian tourist offered employee $1 million to cripple Tesla with malware
Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory was the target of a concerted plot to cripple the company’s network with malware, CEO Elon Musk confirmed on Thursday afternoon.
The plan’s outline was divulged on Tuesday in a criminal complaint that accused a Russian man of offering $1 million to the employee of a Nevada company, identified only as “Company A,” in exchange for the employee infecting the company’s network. The employee reported the offer to Tesla and later worked with the FBI in a sting that involved him covertly recording face-to-face meetings discussing the proposal.
“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,” prosecutors wrote in the complaint.