A Russian national who attempted to hack Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) last year and introduce malware to compromise the company has pleaded guilty in the U.S. and could spend up to ten months in prison, according to a report by The Associated Press.
Egor Igorevich Kriuchkov pleaded guilty to conspiracy to intentionally cause damage to a protected computer, as per the report.
A federal lawsuit was filed against Kriuchkov in Nevada last August. The Russian national was accused of offering a $1 million bribe in Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) to an employee at a company in Nevada – identified then only as Company A – to surreptitiously insert malware into the company’s systems.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk later confirmed that the automaker was the subject of a hacking attempt by a Russian national and his co-conspirators.
Kriuckkov said the insider job would be camouflaged with a distributed denial of service attack on plant computers from outside in order to overwhelm the servers with junk traffic, as per the Associated Press, which cited court documents. The hackers then planned to extort Tesla for a ransom payment.
The data breach shows how companies need to take more effective steps to deal with the threat of cyberattacks that have increased in intensity amid the pandemic. It also shows how hackers could take data from companies, including Tesla, hostage in exchange for ransom funds.
Earlier this month, Tesla was among the several companies that were impacted by a massive security-camera breach, with hackers gaining access to live footage from the electric car maker’s factories and warehouses.