Elon Musk confirms Tesla Nevada factory was target of ‘serious’ cyberattack
Elon Musk confirmed Thursday that the Tesla Inc. gigafactory in Nevada was the target of a cyberattack that was foiled by the FBI.
Musk confirmed a news report identifying Tesla as the company targeted by Egor Igorevich Kriuchkov, who tried to pay an employee $1 million to install malware on the electric-car maker’s computer network, according to the feds.
“This was a serious attack,” Musk said on Twitter Thursday evening in response to the report from Teslarati, a Tesla-centric news site.
The site claimed Tesla was the unidentified firm mentioned in a 25-page criminal complaint federal prosecutors in Nevada brought against Kriuchkov, who was arrested Aug. 22 after trying to leave the US, authorities said.
The complaint says Kriuchkov rented a hotel room in Sparks, Nevada — home to the sprawling factory where Tesla makes batteries for its electric cars — while trying to carry out the scheme.
The US Justice Department had said that 27-year-old Kriuchkov was arrested on August 22 on the charge of conspiring to intentionally cause damage to a protected computer by attempting to recruit an employee to introduce malware into a system.
The statement had also revealed that the specific malware was intended to extract data from the network and then to threaten the company for ransom money.
According to the Justice Department, Kriuchkov had promised the employee an incentive of $1 million upon introducing the malware into the system.
But the employee alerted the FBI, who were successful in thwarting the attack, a complaint filed by the FBI’s Las Vegas Field Office showed.