Russian Yegor Kryuchkov tried to bribe a Tesla employee to access its confidential information and then blackmail.
In the United States, 27-year-old Russian Yegor Kryuchkov admitted that he was guilty of trying to bribe a Tesla employee to inject a virus into its computer network. According to the US Department of Justice, Kryuchkov sought to access classified information to blackmail Tesla. Kryuchkov pleaded guilty on March 18, and the federal public defender appointed by the court on Friday, March 19, declined to comment.
According to the prosecutor's office, Kryuchkov acted on behalf of accomplices abroad.
It is reported that Kryuchkov visited Nevada several times, trying to establish contact with an employee of the enterprise, and offered him cryptocurrency as a reward. According to the AP agency, the amount of remuneration was supposed to be one million dollars. However, a Tesla employee reported this to the company's management. They, in turn, contacted the FBI, which revealed the criminal scheme.
In September 2020, Kryuchkov mentioned that the Russian government is aware of his case. Still, the FBI did not suspect connections with the Kremlin.
Sentencing to Egor Kryuchkov is scheduled for May 10. He is expected to be sentenced to a maximum of 10 months in prison. The Russian was detained seven months ago.
Elon Musk, in an attempt to hack Tesla's computer network
In a press release from the US Department of Justice in Yegor Kryuchkov, the name of Tesla is not mentioned. Instead, it is described as "one large American company from Nevada." However, back in September 2020, when official charges were brought against Kryuchkov, journalists from world publications wrote that Tesla, or rather its plant for the production of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles Gigafactory, was supposed to be the target of the cyberattack.
This information was confirmed, in particular, in August 2020 by the Californian multimedia company Teslarati, which specializes in covering the activities of Tesla, Space X, and other projects of Elon Musk. Musk himself, in a commentary to this message, indicated that this was a severe attack, and he is very grateful (to everyone who helped solve this crime. Company representatives on Friday, March 19, did not respond to a request for comment.