Tech giant Tesla was the target of a $ 1 million ransomware attack, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
According to the FBI, 27-year-old Russian man Egor Igorevich Kriuchkiv was arrested on August 22 in Tesla’s Gigafactive Nevada on charges of conspiracy to commit malware. The hacker was part of a ransomware group that has reportedly carried out previous ransomware attacks, although the FBI has not yet released information on other targets.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed the effort on Twitter, calling the failed plot a “serious attack”.
much appreciated. This was a serious attack.
& Mdash; Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 27 August 2020
In hopes of convincing a Tesla employee to help introduce ransomware to Tesla’s servers, Krichukiv used a tourist visa to travel to the US in July.
The Russian-speaking employee then contacted both Tesla and the FBI about the proposed plan. The employee, who was not publicly identified, was then used as part of a month-long sting operation in which Krichukiv offered him $ 1 million in return for placing malware in Tesla’s servers.
The sting operation not only revealed ransomware plans for Gigafactive Nevada, but gave FBI insights into past attacks and the Russian group behind them. In a 25-page FBI complaint against Kryuchiev, a Russian citizen has been arrested in cases of conspiracy to intentionally damage a protected computer.
reached out to Tesla for comment and will update this story when we hear back.
Ransomware is a common strategy used by hackers to withdraw money. Earlier in August, Garmin allegedly paid millions in a ransomware attack that reduced server access for more than two weeks.