Home Cyber-Crime Russian hacker pleads guilty to planting malware in Tesla Gigafactory

Russian hacker pleads guilty to planting malware in Tesla Gigafactory

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The hacker Egor Igorevich Kriuchkov traveled from Russia to the United States in an attempt to recruit Tesla employees to exfiltrate data and extort the company.

In August last year, it was reported that a Russian threat actor Egor Igorevich Kriuchkov was arrested for luring a Tesla employee into infecting one of the company’s protected computers with malware.

The employee, whose name was not revealed reported the incident to the company as a result of which Kriuchkov was arrested by the FBI.

It is worth noting that the employee who happened to be a non-US citizen worker at Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada, United States was offered $1 million in Bitcoin if they facilitated the attack.

On the other hand, Kriuchkov also planned to carry out Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack which would have diverted the company’s attention, paving way for the hacker to extract critical corporate data from the company and hold it for ransom.

Elon Musk confirms Russian Hacker's failed attempt to conspire with Tesla employee

Elon Musk confirmed the incident back in August on Twitter.

Now, according to the Department of Justice, Kriuchkov has pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to intentionally cause damage to a protected computer and is scheduled to be sentenced on May 10th, 2021.

A Russian national pleaded guilty in federal court today for conspiring to travel to the United States to recruit an employee of a Nevada company into a scheme to introduce malicious software into the company’s computer network, said a press release issued by DOJ on Thursday, March 18, 2021.

“The swift response of the company and the FBI prevented a major exfiltration of the victim company’s data and stopped the extortion scheme at its inception,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicholas L. McQuaid of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

It is unclear how many years Kriuchkov will serve in prison however due to his plea deal chances are that they will get away with a lighter sentence.

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