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Russian hacker who failed in attempt to steal company secrets from Elon Musk’s Tesla electric battery plant to be deported from US

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A Russian man who tried to pay a Tesla employee $500,000 to install malicious software at the company’s electric battery plant in Nevada will be deported from the US after pleading guilty and being sentenced to 10 months in jail.

If Egor Kryuchkov had successfully bribed the employee, ransomware could have been placed on the company’s servers, meaning that Tesla would have had to pay the Russian a hefty sum to regain access to its data. The secret information stored on the company computers could also have been stolen by Kryuchkov, and he could have used the threat of releasing the information to demand a higher payment.

The attempted cyberattack took place last year, in July and August. He was eventually arrested on August 22. Six days later, company owner Elon Musk dubbed it a “serious attack.”

“I’m sorry for my decision. I regret it,” Kryuchkov, 27, said in court, according to AP.

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Kryuchkov, who could have faced five years behind bars, agreed to a plea bargain of 10 months in jail and a payment of $14,825 in restitution. Having already served nine months, his deal means he has essentially received a sentence of time-served and will soon be deported.

If Kryuchkov ever returns to the US, he will be placed in prison for three years.

The facility he targeted was Tesla’s huge electric battery plant in Reno, Nevada. Dubbed ‘Gigafactory 1,’ it supplies the battery packs for the company’s vehicles.

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