News broke this week that Tesla CEO Elon Musk sent an email to all employees on Monday morning about a factory fire, and seemed to reference possible sabotage. It is reported that Musk also sent an email to all employees at Tesla late on Sunday night alleging that he has discovered a saboteur in the company’s ranks. Elon Musk emailed his employees outlining an individual had carried out, “quite extensive and damaging sabotage” to the organisational operation, the user activity included making alterations to code and exporting sensitive information.
Tampering with Tesla code could have truly lethal consequences for its customers on the road, so this the severity of this sabotage cannot be understated. This, combined with the exporting of highly sensitive data to unknown third-parties, is a shocking example of the damage that can be caused by insider threats – in this case, clearly malicious rather than accidental. As Musk says himself, the full extent of the saboteur’s actions are not yet clear, but we do know that the prime motivation behind this crime was vengeance after being denied a promotion.
ZoneFox works with clients across the globe to mitigate the risk of the insider threat. The ZoneFox platform would have identified the unauthorised access of Tesla’s code as well as any significant movement of data across the business and anomalous user behaviours.
As you can see, the insider threat is now one of the major concerns in cybersecurity, with good reason. For more information on Tesla and the insider threat, check out our partner ZoneFox’s blog surrounding the subject.