Tesla data breach was an insider betrayal

Onur Demirkol
Aug 22, 2023

Recent news revealed that the Tesla data breach was an insider job, and two former employees leaked all the information, including Elon Musk's social security number.

In a surprising turn of events, Tesla, the pioneering electric car manufacturer led by Elon Musk, has disclosed that insiders orchestrated a recent data breach affecting over 75,000 of its dedicated workforce.

Initially covered in mystery, the breach has been unraveled to be the handiwork of two former employees who reportedly leaked sensitive personal information to a foreign media outlet. This revelation casts a spotlight on the challenge of safeguarding sensitive data within the realms of cutting-edge technology.

Tesla data breach
Tesla data breach

Tesla data breach was a betrayal

In a letter to the attorney general of Maine, Tesla shared that they found out what caused the data breach. Instead of hackers from outside, two former Tesla workers played a part in this. These workers broke Tesla's rules about keeping information safe and gave out the personal details of more than 75,000 people to a media group in another country.

The breach was not a result of external cyberattacks but rather a betrayal from within. Two ex-Tesla employees, in violation of the company's stringent IT security protocols, surreptitiously leaked a trove of personal information belonging to more than 75,000 individuals to a foreign media entity.

The person in charge of protecting data at Tesla, Steven Elentukh, explained what happened. The information that was taken included names, addresses, phone numbers, work-related papers, and even Social Security numbers. This kind of information could be used to do bad things, so it's really serious.

“The investigation revealed that two former Tesla employees misappropriated the information in violation of Tesla’s IT security and data protection policies and shared it with the media outlet,” said Steven Elentukh, Tesla’s data privacy officer.

The private information that got stolen was then given to a newspaper called Handelsblatt in Germany. The newspaper promised not to misuse or put out the stolen information.

Tesla leak reveals thousands of safety complaints

The people who got the stolen information, Handelsblatt, got a lot of inside stuff about Tesla. They got their hands on over 23,000 secret documents, which they called the "Tesla Files." These papers had many things like private info about workers, details about money, secrets about how Tesla makes things, and customer complaints about Tesla's special driving features.

Tesla didn't just stand by. They took action by going to court against the workers who caused the data breach. Because of this, the workers had to hand over their devices like computers and phones. Tesla also got orders from the court to stop the workers from using or sharing stolen information. If the workers don't follow these rules, they could face punishment.


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