A young Russian citizen and his co-conspirators were only an inch away from a major ransom attack against Tesla – unaware that their target had already freed them.
Last week the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) published a criminal complaint against a conspirator in a foiled ransom against electric vehicle maker Tesla.
On August 22, the office arrested a 27-year-old Russian citizen, Pavel Kryuchkov, in Los Angeles, who allegedly spent most of his month in the United States, assaulting a Tesla employee at the company’s Gigafactory Nevada for complicity in a “private citizen” to recruit “infamous project..” ”
This “special venture” came with a lucrative incentive – a $ 500,000 bribe that later rose to $ 1 million. A small deposit should be paid into the employee’s Bitcoin wallet (BTC) installed with the Tor browser to avoid detection.
In exchange for the bribe, the employee was asked to help install a malware attack targeting Tesla – a two-stage conspiracy that included a distributed denial-of-service attack and theft of sensitive corporate data.
The plan was to hold Tesla as a ransom under threat of posting information publicly. The conspirators with Kryuchkov had their eye on a $ 4 million ransom.
The stumbling block was that shortly after Kryuchkov had met the still unknown employee for the first time, the employee alerted Tesla, who in turn reported to the FBI.
A series of August meetings between Kriuchov and the clerk was physically monitored and overheard by FBI agents. They gathered information about the operation and other past exploits as they prepared for the cyber attack.
One of the conspirators, according to Kriuchkov’s message to the employee, was a hacker specializing in cryptography who allegedly worked as a senior employee of a state bank in Russia.
Kryuchkov himself was visibly fuzzy about the technical aspects of the planned attack, and apparently he took $ 250,000 for his recruitment efforts.
In one of the early meetings, Kryuchkov, an employee, and two of the latter’s friends took a trip to Lake Tahoe, California. Kryuchkov insisted on paying the bill for the group’s expenses, but shied away from appearing in group photos and insisted that he remember the beauty of a sunset without a souvenir.
On August 21, Kryushchev informed the agent that the attack had been postponed and he would be leaving Nevada the next day. He is currently on remand following his arrest in Los Angeles on August 22nd.