FBI Nabs Russian Hacker Who Tried To Steal Tesla Secrets
In fairness to Russian hacker Egor Igorevich Kriuchkov, it wasn’t such a bad plan to try and bribe a Tesla employee to help him steal company secrets.
After all, how hard can it be to find an overworked, disillusioned engineer who would love a chance to stick it to Elon Musk and get $1 million in the process?
According to Mashable, the plan was for Kriuchkov and his co-conspirators to give the employee malware to be installed on one of the company’s computers while the Russian mob presumably runs a standard DDoS attack to distract the firm’s security teams.
The malware would then steal sensitive company information and upload it to a remote server, where hackers can access it t to extort the company for millions.
Employee Of The Year
All it took for this brilliant plan to blow up in the hackers’ faces was a single employee who won’t go rogue.
The employee, who the FBI described to ZD Net as a Russian-speaking immigrant, immediately went to the police and notified Tesla about the situation after meeting with Kriuchkov, who first contacted him through WhatsApp.
Because of the employee’s due diligence, authorities were able to record and document their subsequent meetings, where the Russia-based hackers repeated in detail their plan to steal trade secrets with which they can extort the electric car-maker.
According to Electrek, the employee’s decision not to shoot down the hacker’s proposal at once allowed Tesla and the FBI to obtain more information about the group and their previous corporate attacks.
Official Charges Filed
Once the authorities were satisfied with their intel haul, FBI agents swooped down and arrested Kriuchkov as the latter tried to flee the US via Los Angeles over the weekend.
If found guilty of conspiracy to extort a global company, Kriuchkov could face five years of jail time.
Tesla has yet to return requests for an interview to comment on the incident, but in a tweet sent out earlier today, Musk expressed his appreciation for the employee who thwarted the ransomware attack by turning down a $1 million dollar opportunity.
“This was a serious attack,” he wrote.
Well, Elon better shell out on a hefty bonus on the employee, or else he might not be so lucky the next time.