Tesla blames data breach on insider action

Alex Omenye
Alex Omenye

Tesla has blamed insider action for the over 75,000 employees of the company who were impacted by a data breach.

Elon Musk’s electric car company, Tesla, disclosed in a data breach notice filed with the attorney general of Maine that an investigation had revealed that two former employees had disclosed the personal information of over 75,000 people to a foreign media source.

“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,” Tesla’s data privacy officer, Steven Elentukh, wrote in the notice.

This data contains personally identifying information for 75,735 current and past employees, including names, addresses, phone numbers, employment-related records, and Social Security numbers.

According to Tesla, two former workers gave the information to the German daily Handelsblatt. The outlet promised Tesla that it wouldn’t publish the information and that it was “legally prohibited from using it inappropriately,” according to the notice.

In May, Handelsblatt claimed that Tesla had experienced a “massive” breach that had exposed everything from the personal information of staff to customer complaints about their vehicles.

The “Tesla Files,” or more than 23,000 internal documents with 100 gigabytes of sensitive information, were obtained by the publication. Also disclosed in the hack was Musk’s Social Security number.

Tesla filed suit against the workers who were allegedly in charge of the data breach, which led to the confiscation of the workers’ electronic equipment.

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