Elon Musk confirmed that the Tesla Inc factory in Nevada was the target of a thwarted cyberattack.
Musk tweeted on Thursday that “this was a serious attack,” in response to a report by Teslarati that an employee at the Gigafactory in Reno had helped the Federal Bureau of Investigation to derail the planned attack by a Russian man who was arrested on Aug 22 and charged with conspiracy to intentionally damage a protected computer.
The Justice Department said in a statement Tuesday that Egor Igorevich Kriuchkov, 27, had tried to recruit an employee at a unidentified company to introduce malware in the company’s computer system. The malware was intended to extract data from the network and to seek ransom from the company, according to the Justice Department.
Kriuchkov promised the employee he would get $1 million after the malware was introduced into the computer network, according to the Justice Department.
The Tesla employee who was approached by Kriuchkov is a Russian-speaking person who had access to company’s computer networks, Teslarati reported on Thursday. The employee warned Tesla about the approach and the company informed the FBI, Teslarati reported.
Tesla didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.