Feds Bust Alleged Plot to Reap Multi Million-Dollar Bitcoin Ransom From Elon Musk’s Tesla

The FBI says it’s busted a scheme to steal intellectual property from Elon Musk’s Tesla and demand a multi-million-dollar ransom.

On August 22nd, the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested 27-year old Russian national Egor Kriuchkov. They accuse him of attempting to bribe a Tesla employee to collude on a malware attack on Tesla, capture sensitive data from its network, and then demand a multi-million ransom from the company in exchange for not disclosing the data online. 

“On or about August 18, 2020, [Kriuchkov] met with the employee, and explained that the conspirators agreed to pay the employee $1,000,000 USD after the malware was transmitted but that they had never made an upfront payment and would not do so in this situation.”

According to the 25-page complaint, Kriuchkov and his coconspirators allegedly agreed send the Tesla employee around $8,500 to $11,000 worth of BTC as an advance payment for the staffer’s participation.

Court documents reveal how much money the alleged masterminds of the plot thought they could get from Tesla.

“Kriuchkov said that victim companies usually negotiate with the group to pay less ransom money than the group initially requests, for example, one company was ransomed at US $6 million and ultimately paid US $4 million.”