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Tesla's Tough Lesson on Malicious Insider Threats

June 19, 2018 / Kacy Zurkus

The potential damages a company can suffer from malicious insiders became a harsh reality for Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who expressed his disappointment at learning he had a saboteur within the Tesla ranks. The individual who allegedly engaged in damaging sabotage against Tesla was reportedly an employee disgruntled over not getting a promotion. According to a report from CNBC, Musk sent an email to Tesla employees late Sunday revealing that a Tesla worker had engaged in “quite extensive and damaging sabotage” against the company. CNBC posted what it said was a copy of the email in which Musk said the sabotage included the use of false usernames to make changes to the code used in the Tesla Manufacturing Operation System, as well as “exporting large amounts of highly sensitive Tesla data to unknown third parties.” As Musk noted, when an employee engages in such illicit activity, it is usually an act of revenge. "His stated motivation is that he wanted a promotio...