Even Elon Musk Was A Victim In This Massive Data Breach Tesla Calls An Inside Job

Elon Musk's employees have typically been the ones getting caught in controversy by his companies' practices, but this time, the billionaire businessman is also in the crossfire. The folks at Tesla will not soon forget the incident earlier this year where a news outlet received 23,000 files amassing 100 gigabytes from a mysterious informant. 

After sifting through these files, the news org found it full of employees' private information. This includes addresses, bank information, and a whopping 75,735 employees' Social Security numbers — one of which belonging to Musk himself. The publication didn't leak the content to the public, but it did go on to reveal some other interesting findings. Among the documents was evidence of Tesla allegedly partaking in some shady tactics.

The EV company then unsuccessfully sued the news org to prevent the story from publishing. Three months later, Tesla finally revealed to its customers how the information was leaked, confirming that this was an inside job. It also outlines what it is doing to protect its employees' data.

Two employees leaked the information for unknown reasons

Tesla's Data Privacy Officer recently sent out a notice to some of its customers, retrieved from Maine's Attorney General's website, that details the events of the leak. The EV company begins its notice by stating that there is no evidence of anyone's personal data being used maliciously. Tesla then explained how the information got out, revealing that "two former Tesla employees misappropriated the information in violation of Tesla's IT security and data protection policies." 

Why the employees did this is unknown. However, it may have been an attempt at whistleblowing that Tesla purposefully hid customer complaints to foster a clean company image, as evidenced by some of the documents provided.

In retaliation, Tesla filed lawsuits against both of the alleged leakers, resulting in the company confiscating the electronic devices that supposedly held the data, and a court-ordered bar that prevented the employees from further using the data. It also notes that Tesla is working with law enforcement to figure out the next steps. As a further safeguard, Tesla is offering a one-year Experian IdentityWorks membership to those affected to monitor their information safety. 

Tesla also attached a second document detailing more steps employees could take to keep their information safe. Although this does not make up for allowing confidential data to get leaked, at least the employees got some layer of protection as recompense.