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vpnMentor was established in 2014 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize the independent, professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

Tesla Says Data Breach of 75k Employees Was an Inside Job

Tesla Says Data Breach of 75k Employees Was an Inside Job
Husain Parvez Published on 24th August 2023 Cybersecurity Researcher

Tesla has confirmed that a data breach in May that affected over 75,000 employees was the result of insider actions. The breach exposed sensitive personal information, including social security numbers, names, addresses, and more. Notably, the data also contained personal details of Tesla's CEO, Elon Musk.

According to a report by Reuters, two former Tesla employees were behind the unauthorized leak of data. It was shared with German media outlet Handelsblatt, who then brought the breach to Tesla’s attention. The report further elaborated that the leaked data, dubbed the "Tesla Files" by Handelsblatt, consisted of approximately 100GB of confidential data.

The German outlet assured Tesla that it would not publish the personal data but did discuss other elements of the leaked information, such as customer complaints about Tesla vehicles. Reports suggest that the data highlighted around 2,400 self-acceleration issues and over 1,500 braking problems spanning from 2015 to March 2022.

Upon learning of the breach, Tesla took swift legal action. The company identified and filed lawsuits against the two former employees believed to be responsible. As a result, the electronic devices of the accused were seized.

Steven Elentukh, Tesla's data privacy officer, described the breach as "insider wrongdoing" in a notice. He stated, "The investigation revealed that two former Tesla employees misappropriated the information in violation of Tesla’s IT security and data protection policies and shared it with the media outlet."

Tesla assured that there was no evidence suggesting misuse of the leaked data that could harm the affected individuals. However, as a precautionary measure, the company is offering free credit monitoring services to impacted employees.

The breach could have significant consequences for Tesla, with Dutch authorities currently investigating the potential violation of GDPR regulations. If Tesla is found to have been in violation of the GDPR, they could be fined up to 4% of their annual sales.

This isn't the first time Tesla has faced issues related to data security. Earlier in the year, we shed light on reports of Tesla employees sharing sensitive images and videos recorded by customer’s cars.

About the Author

Husain Parvez is a Cybersecurity Researcher and News Writer at vpnMentor, focusing on VPN reviews, detailed how-to guides, and hands-on tutorials. Husain is also a part of the vpnMentor Cybersecurity News bulletin and loves covering the latest events in cyberspace and data privacy.