Authorities arrested a Russian man who attempted to bribe a Tesla employee, the Justice Department reported Thursday, August 27.
The Department of Justice announced an intercepted malware attack on an unnamed company in Sparks, Nevada. Tesla has a factory for vehicle parts in the said area. The authorities did not mention Tesla. However, Electrek confirmed that the target of the attack was indeed the company of Elon Musk.
The Tesla CEO retweeted Teslarati ‘s article about the $1 million failed bribery. The Tesla employee turned down the said crime. In his tweet, Musk noted the “serious assault.”
What happened to the bribery incident?
The team member then collaborated with the Federal Investigation Bureau (FBI) to apprehend the culprit. Special Agent in Charge Rouse said the FBI could interfere before any damage could occur. The agency vowed to continue to investigate “any person or organization attempting to inflict harm on American business or industry.”
The complaint charged Egor Igorevich Kriuchkov, a 27-year-old Russian citizen, for “[conspiring] to intentionally cause damage to a protected computer.”
Kriuchkov rented a hotel room in Sparks, Nevada where he met the unnamed company employee. The culprit suggested a “private project” in early August, according to the complaint.
The alleged project allegedly involved sending malware that the employee would install on the company’s computers.
Kriuchkov and his cohorts would attack the business with a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) to trick its security community. They planned to install the malware via a USB or email attachment, to siphon off data and information from the company. They would then extort worth $4 million in ransoms from Tesla.
Meanwhile, Kriuchkov tried to fly out of the country as he rode overnight from Reno to Los Angeles after the FBI approached him. He then asked someone to purchase an airline ticket for him.
Kriuchkov will face a maximum sentence of five-year prison time and $250,000 fine if found guilty of the charges while the Tesla employee continues to work.
Netizens react to the Tesla employee’s bribe rejection
After refusing the $1 million bid by a Russian cyber-attacker by one of his workers, Musk tweeted: “Much appreciated.” Netizens praised the decision of the worker, as the offer seems quite tempting.
One Twitter user said: “Look for this kind of loyalty.” He added that he was glad it still existed. Another user called the employee an “excellent human being.” He also noted that there are still “good people with good work ethics and values.”
In the meantime, Twitter user Joel Collinson said, the incident is not a matter of integrity.” Instead, he said the staff was smart enough to know that authorities would inevitably catch the employee if he took the money.
Another user Calvin George suggested a film-like story. He said that someone who would pay a million dollars would also be willing to kill to cover up the crime. “He probably saves his own life,” he added.