Tesla data breach: Inside job affects 75,000 employees

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【Summary】Tesla admitted that a data breach affecting over 75,000 employees was carried out by insiders. Two former employees leaked personal information, including names, contact details, employment records, and Social Security numbers, to a foreign media outlet. Tesla has filed lawsuits and obtained court orders to prevent further use of the data. The media outlet claims it won't publish the information. The breach also included confidential documents, including Elon Musk's Social Security number.

FutureCar Staff    Aug 21, 2023 11:17 PM PT
Tesla data breach: Inside job affects 75,000 employees

Electric car maker Tesla, led by Elon Musk, has confirmed that a data breach affecting over 75,000 employees was carried out by insiders within the company. In a notice filed with the attorney general of Maine, Tesla revealed that an internal investigation determined that two former employees had leaked personal information of more than 75,000 individuals to a foreign media outlet.

Tesla's data privacy officer, Steven Elentukh, stated, "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."

The leaked personal information included details of certain current and former employees, such as their names, contact information (such as address, phone number, and email address), employment-related records, and Social Security numbers. The breach came to light when the foreign media outlet, Handelsblatt, informed Tesla on May 10, 2023, that it had obtained confidential information belonging to the company.

Tesla assured that Handelsblatt has stated its intention not to publish the leaked personal information and is legally prohibited from using it inappropriately. The company took immediate action to contain the incident, assess its extent, and safeguard the affected individuals' information.

Tesla pursued legal action against the two former employees involved in the breach, resulting in the seizure of their electronic devices, which were believed to contain Tesla's confidential information. Additionally, the company obtained court orders prohibiting the former employees from further using, accessing, or disseminating the data, under threat of criminal penalties.

Earlier in May, Handelsblatt reported a "massive" breach at Tesla, exposing personal information of employees and customer complaints about their cars. The publication claimed to have obtained over 23,000 internal documents, known as the "Tesla Files," totaling 100 gigabytes of confidential data. Furthermore, the leak reportedly included Elon Musk's Social Security number.

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