A Russian national pleaded guilty in federal court for trying to hijack Tesla’s computer system at the Gigafactory east of Sparks, the U. S. Attorney’s Office announced Thursday.
The suspect’s name is Egor Igorevich Kriuchkov, 27, and he is scheduled to be sentenced on May 10. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to intentionally damage a protected company’s computer system.
Kriuchokov attempted to bribe an employee of an unnamed company in the Sparks area to insert malware into the company’s computer system between July 16, 2020, and August 22, 2020. Tesla founder Elon Musk confirmed a report from the Teslarati website it was the Gigafactory that was targeted and called it a serious attack.
“Once the malware was installed, Kriuchkov and his co-conspirators would use it to exfiltrate data from the company’s computer network and then extra the company by threatening to disclose the data,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
Kriuchkov traveled from Russia to Nevada via New York and attempted to bribe a Tesla employee with Bitcoin. The employee then reported the matter to his company which then notified the FBI.