Tesla sues ex-employee for hacking & sharing GBs of data with 3rd parties

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The electric car manufacturing giant, Tesla, has filed a lawsuit against a former employee Martin Tripp (“Tripp”) accusing him of hacking into the company’s servers, stealing sensitive data and sharing it with third-parties.

The stolen data included dozens of photos and a video of Tesla’s manufacturing systems. The company claims in the lawsuit that due to Tripp’s misconduct it has suffered significant and continuing damages.

It is noteworthy that, a couple of days ago, Tesla owner Elon Musk had sent emails to his employees addressing “extensive and damaging sabotage” by an employee.

According to the court documents [PDF], Tesla claims that Tripp informed outsiders about punctured battery cells at Tesla’s factory which was later reported by several news outlets.

“For example, Tripp claimed that punctured battery cells had been used in certain Model 3 vehicles even though no punctured cells were ever used in vehicles, batteries or otherwise.

Tripp also vastly exaggerated the true amount and value of “scrap” material that Tesla generated during the manufacturing process, and falsely claimed that Tesla was delayed in bringing new manufacturing equipment online,” the lawsuit alleges.

Furthermore, Tesla claims that Tripp, who worked as a process technician, was unhappy with the situation after being reassigned to a new role. The company also claims that Tripp admitted some of the actions after being confronted with new evidence.

“He also wrote computer code to periodically export Tesla’s data off its network and into the hands of third parties.

His hacking software was operating on three separate computer systems of other individuals at Tesla so that the data would be exported even after he left the company and so that those individuals would be falsely implicated as guilty parties,” the documents said.

According to the company, Tripp admitted, “writing software that hacked Tesla’s manufacturing operating system(“MOS”) and to transferring several gigabytes of Tesla data to outside entities.”

Tesla is seeking $1 million (€863,605) in damages.

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