Tesla alleges that an employee made changes to its Manufacturing Operating System (MOS), wrote malicious code intended to periodically export confidential company data, and installed it on the computers of three unsuspecting colleagues. This code successfully exported a large amount of data - including video and photos of manufacturing operations and proprietary code - to unknown third parties.
There is an ongoing investigation to assess the full extent of damage and the cleanup costs are still unknown. Whether or not the data was manipulated, and the exact recipients and use of the data are still being determined. It appears that he was working alone, but it’s also yet to be determined if anyone was aware of his plans or if he was working directly with any outside organizations. As with any data breach, Tesla will need to be on guard for several ongoing repercussions:
Ava Reveal detects and prevents both unintentional and intentional threats to an organization. In this instance of malicious intent, there were several triggers that would have raised an alarm if the solution had been in place.
In Musk’s email to employees, he stated the employee was disgruntled because he was passed up for a promotion. There are many personnel events – such as resignations, team changes, performance improvement plans – that can prompt harmful behavior. Reveal (in particular the power search function enables clear visibility across employees to protect the company, without having to sort through data logs. Even seemingly harmless behavior like copying company documents to a personal drive in preparation for a departure will be captured, as well as the file names affected. In the case of a Personally Identifiable Information (PII) breach, this greatly increases the likelihood of being able to decipher the breach and alert the affected parties within 72 hours, the deadline now imposed by the GDPR.