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Tesla Data Breach Linked to Whistleblower, Not a Cyberattack


August 22, 2023

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Tesla Data Breach Linked to Whistleblower, Not a Cyberattack

In a surprising turn of events, Tesla has revealed that a data breach discovered in May affecting over 75,000 individuals was not a result of a cybersecurity lapse but the actions of former insiders.

Contrary to initial suspicions of a cyberattack, the automobile giant attributed the breach to two former employees.

The affected data, alarmingly, contains a myriad of personal data including contact information like names and addresses as well as sensitive details such as Social Security Numbers and employment records of both current and former Tesla employees.

German media outlet Handelsblatt received approximately 100 Gb of confidential Tesla data. The so-called "Tesla Files" include a medley of data from more than 100,000 current and former employees.

This data reportedly extends from production secrets and customer bank details to complaints about Tesla's driver assistance systems.

Even though the media outlet pointed out Tesla's perceived shortcomings in protecting personal data, Handelsblatt refuses to share the acquired documents with the public.

After the incident came to light, Tesla pursued legal steps against the ex-employees linked to the data leak, leading to the confiscation of their digital equipment.

Tesla has also secured court orders prohibiting these individuals from further accessing, using or distributing the stolen data. Breaching this order could lead to severe criminal penalties.

The severity of the situation led Tesla to provide identity protection and credit monitoring services to those impacted. However, according to the notification letter sent to those affected, the company has "no evidence that any personal information was misused in a manner that could harm" customers.

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  • ID protection score that lets you know how well you score on the digital footprint protection scale




Vlad's love for technology and writing created rich soil for his interest in cybersecurity to sprout into a full-on passion. Before becoming a Security Analyst, he covered tech and security topics.

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