Tesla’s data breach exposes ‘insider wrongdoing’ and impacts 75,000 individuals

Aug 21, 2023, 12:20 PM UTC
3 mins read
Tesla's data breach exposes 'insider wrongdoing' and impacts 75,000 individuals
(Photo by Bram Van Oost on Unsplash)

Tesla has recently disclosed a startling data breach that affected a whopping 75,000 individuals. What’s more surprising? The breach was a result of “insider wrongdoing.”

Over 75,000 people were impacted, most of them being current or past Tesla employees. This staggering breach came to light through an announcement on Maine’s Attorney General’s website. While there’s no proof of immediate misuse of the exposed data, Tesla felt it was crucial to shed light on the situation and keep everyone in the loop.

The bombshell dropped on May 10th, marking a day of reckoning for Tesla. German newspaper Handelsblatt announced that they had laid their hands on a whopping 100GB of data from anonymous sources within Tesla. This marked the start of a saga that would reveal some internal hiccups the automaker was facing.

Related / Tesla whistleblower leaks 100GB of sensitive information

The “Tesla files” opened up a Pandora’s box of sensitive information. Among the 23,000 internal documents, there were reports of around 2,400 self-acceleration glitches and a whopping 1,500 cases where the brakes acted up. Imagine 139 instances of brakes slamming on without warning and 383 times where false collision alerts caused abrupt stops.

Tesla wasn’t about to leave us in the dark. In an honest letter to their employees, the company revealed some juicy tidbits. The breach was indeed on May 10th, and yes, Handelsblatt had indeed got their hands on sensitive Tesla information. But the plot thickens! The perpetrators were unveiled as two ex-Tesla employees who blatantly ignored the company’s IT security and data protection rules to leak the data.

As if things weren’t complicated enough, the leaked data also contained personal info like names, addresses, emails, and phone numbers of employees. However, Tesla assures that Handelsblatt isn’t planning on publishing this info. Legal measures have also been kicked into high gear to prevent any shifty use of this data.

Tesla wasn’t about to twiddle its thumbs. The company came down like a ton of bricks, filing lawsuits left and right. They managed to snag devices suspected of harboring the stolen data and even scored court orders to stop the former employees from spreading the loot any further. Talk about taking the bull by the horns!

This breach rekindles old worries. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had launched an investigation earlier due to complaints about Tesla’s phantom braking. With this breach now revealing heaps of brake-related complaints, it’s a real déjà vu moment. And to add some spice, there’s a class-action lawsuit in the mix from 2022.

Related / Tesla faces NHTSA probe for steering wheel problems in Model 3 and Model Y

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x