Tesla told workers at its factory in Fremont, California, that an employee “maliciously sabotaged” part of the plant last month and was fired after an internal investigation, according to a memo seen by Bloomberg.
The news comes shortly after the company ended a case against ‘the saboteur’ Martin Tripp in court. Tripp quickly became also known after he had leaked Tesla company information to the press. The carmaker took him to court subsequently for hacking their manufacturing operating system. A judge in Nevada just closed the case in Tesla’s favour (mostly).
The new act of “malicious sabotage” that the news agency reports, appears to have been shut down quickly. Operations at the facility were disrupted for only a short period, according to an email sent to employees on Monday by Al Prescott, Tesla’s vice president of legal and acting general counsel.
“Two weeks ago, our IT and InfoSec teams determined than [sic] an employee had maliciously sabotaged a part of the Factory,” Prescott wrote in the email. “Their quick actions prevented further damage and production was running smoothly again a few hours later.”
He didn’t elaborate what the sabotage attempt actually entailed. Bloomberg did find from the email though that the employee, allegedly sought to “cover up his tracks,” blame a co-worker and destroy a company computer. The employment was “terminated” says Tesla and it does not look as if they have involved law enforcement officials.
That was different in another recent case where Tesla worked with the FBI to uncover an attempted cyber-attack at Giga 1. The sting operation involved a Russian hacker – actually a group of them – and corruption but loyalty as well. A faithful Tesla employee had alerted the company, which in turn told the FBI. The Bureau then sent the employee in, wearing a wire as they were negotiating the terms of the malware attack that actually was an attempt at ransom.
In the case of the new sabotage, it remains unclear what it was actually about.
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