- Elon Musk confirmed on Thursday Tesla was the target of a failed, “serious” ransomware attack.
- The US Department of Justice on Tuesday charged Russian national Egor Igorevich Kriuchkov with trying to bribe an employee at a Nevada-based company to install malware for him, offering $US1 million in return.
- The DOJ didn’t name the company in its complaint, but Electrek reported it was Tesla on Thursday.
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Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Thursday confirmed reports that the company was the target of a botched ransomware attack.
Russian national Egor Igorevich Kriuchkov was accused by the US Department of Justice on Tuesday of offering $US1 million to an employee at a company in Nevada – identified only as company A – to install malware on the company’s systems.
Much appreciated. This was a serious attack.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 27, 2020
Kriuchkov allegedly met with this employee multiple times, taking them for dinner and drinks. The idea was for the malware, installed via a USB or an email attachment, would siphon off company data, which would then be held to ransom for $US4 million.
The employee in question reportedly told Tesla about Kriuchkov’s proposition, and the company contacted the FBI. According to the complaint, the employee co-operated with the FBI, recording conversations with Kriuchkov when agents couldn’t eavesdrop.
The complaint states that Kriuchkov asked the employee whether there was anyone at Tesla they wanted to “teach a lesson” and frame for the attach.
According to Electrek’s report, Kriuchkov was arrested by the FBI as he tried to leave the US from Los Angeles on August 22.