Elon Musk has confirmed that the Tesla factory in Nevada was the target of a cyber attack that was foiled with the arrest of the conspirator last week.
Responding to a report on Teslarati, Musk said that it was a "serious attack".
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
Earlier on Monday, Egor Igorevich Kriuchkov, from Russia, was presented in the US District Court in Los Angeles, where he was detained pending trial.
In its complaint, the US Justice Department said that Kriuchkov, 27, had offered an employee of 'a Nevada-based firm' $1 million to help implant malware in to the company's network.
Teslarati claims in its report that the employee approached by Kriuchkov was a Russian-speaking, non-US citizen, with access to Tesla's computer networks.
However, the employee turned down the offer and told the company about the incident. Tesla, in turn, contacted the FBI.
According to the Justice Department, Kriuchkov had arrived in the US on a tourist visa on the 28th July. He met the Tesla employee in Reno in the first week of August, and said he worked for a group that had conducted successful cyber attacks against private firms in the past - including one in which the group received $4 million from the victim.
Kriuchkov offered to pay $500,000 to the employee for installing the malware on the company's network. The malware was intended to steal sensitive information and to seek a ransom from the firm.
Kriuchkov also said that his group would launch DDoS attacks against Tesla to distract its security teams.
After Tesla contacted the FBI, the agency launched a sting operation to track Kriuchkov's activities, during which they obtained detailed information about previous attacks led by Kriuchkov's group.
In a subsequent meeting with the Tesla employee, Kriuchkov said his group had agreed to raise the incentive to $1 million.
The FBI arrested Kriuchkov on the 22nd August, when he was trying to flee the country.
He has been charged with conspiracy to intentionally damage a protected computer.
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