Tesla and FBI prevent Russian hackers from attacking Gigafactory in NevadaAugust 28, 2020
The FBI has arrested a Russian citizen for organizing a hacker attack on Tesla’s Gigafactory in Nevada. Through a Russian-speaking company employee, he tried to install ransomware to blackmail Musk.
According to the FBI, the arrested Russian citizen, 27-year-old Yegor Kryuchkov, was part of a group of people who tried to extort millions of dollars from Tesla. To do this, in July, he arrived in the United States on a tourist visa and met a Russian-speaking employee of the Gigafactory in Nevada. After several meetings, Kryuchkov offered the employee $ 1 million for him to secretly carry and install ransomware in the factory’s internal system.
Kryuchkov claimed to represent a group that had already carried out such attacks. After infiltrating the factory’s network, they planned to then blackmail Tesla’s management, threatening to shut down the Gigafactory and release inside confidential information.
However, an unnamed employee of the company showed conscientiousness and told the factory management about the attackers, and they immediately contacted the FBI. During subsequent negotiations, the employee was already wearing a microphone and recorded a discussion of the plans for the attack.
At the same time, the FBI also learned about previous attacks by this group of hackers. The bureau did not disclose which companies were affected by the attackers, however, according to Electrek, in July the CWT Group was subjected to a similar attack, which had to pay criminals $ 4.5 million. If it were not for the honesty of a Tesla employee, Musk’s company could have been in the same situation …
In total, several American companies, including the cruise operator Carnival and Garmin, have suffered from such attacks over the past 2-3 months. The latter initially refused to pay the ransom, but after hackers blocked the operation of its services and production lines, made concessions and paid the required amount. Travelex also recently paid $ 2.3 million to eliminate a ransomware attack. In addition, several cities were subjected to similar blackmail – Atlanta, Baltimore and New Orleans. It is possible that these attacks are all actions of the same hacker group.
Before leaving Los Angeles on August 22 for Russia, Kryuchkov was detained by FBI agents.
At the end of last year, experts from Chainalysis reported on the activities of two groups of hackers who, in the entire history of the cryptoindustry, had illegally withdrawn about $ 1 billion from exchanges and wallets. Hackers gained access to cryptocurrencies using phishing attacks and ransomware viruses. After that, they “covered their tracks” using an extensive network of crypto wallets and exchangers.
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