Teslarati referenced the recent arrest of Egor Igorevich Kriuchkov, a Russian citizen who was accused of conspiring to commit a cyber crime, by the Department of Justice.
The documents reveal that the employee informed Tesla and the Federal Bureau of Investigation after the first meeting with Kriuchkov who has now been arrested and might face jail time of up to 5 years if found guilty.
"The objective of the conspiracy was to recruit an employee of a company to surreptitiously transmit malware provided by the coconspirators into the company's computer system, exfiltrate data from the company's network, and threaten to disclose the data online unless the company paid the coconspirators' ransom demand", prosecutors wrote in the complaint. The malware was meant to steal sensitive information and to seek a ransom from the firm. The man promised to reward $1 million in exchange for it. Kriuchkov revealed that it took $250,000 to develop the malware.
He has been charged with conspiracy to intentionally damage a protected computer.
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The Bureau launched a sting operation, sending the employee in, wearing a wire and shared text communications with Kriuchkov as they were negotiating the terms of the malware attack.
The Russian met with the employee several times, lavishing the person with drinks and dinners, and going on an excursion to Lake Tahoe, the complaint states.
The plot continued moving forward as the employee was told they'd have to provide information about the company to assist in the development of the malware. "Give that boy a bonus!" said one follower.
Experts also say that traveling to the U.S.to bribe an employee is a very unusual method for foreign hacker groups, raising the possibility that the scheme was more than the extortion scam it purported to be.
On August 3 when Kriuchkov explained that "the "group" has performed these "special projects" successfully on multiple occasions, and identified some of the targeted companies".