Tesla sues former employee for hacking, sabotage and misreporting to media

Tesla sues former employee for hacking, sabotage and misreporting to media

In a lawsuit filed recently in a Nevada court, electric vehicle maker Tesla Motors has accused a former process technician, Martin Tripp, of hacking and exporting the company’s confidential data to outside entities. Tesla has also alleged that Tripp misreported to the media about the quality of Model 3 battery modules.

In its lawsuit, Tesla Motors has marked out five claims for relief against Tripp, including violations explained in the Defend Trade Secrets Act, the Nevada Computer Crimes Law, and the Nevada Uniform Trade Secrets Act, along with Breach of Contract and Breach of Fiduciary Duty of Loyalty.

According to Tesla Motors, Tripp joined the company as a process technician in October 2017. His role enabled him to access confidential information related to diverse aspects of Tesla’s manufacturing operations. However, he was reassigned to a new role on May 17, 2018, after complaints from his managers about his job-performance and other behavioural problems.

Tripp apparently retaliated to the job reassignment move by launching an attack against Tesla. On account of his misconduct, he was interviewed by Tesla investigators on June 14-15, 2018. After initially denying any wrongdoing, Tripp finally confessed that he had committed a number of offenses.

About Tripp’s wrongdoings, Tesla specifically said in its lawsuit filing that “Tripp authored hacking software and placed it onto the computer systems of three other individuals at the company so that confidential Tesla data could be persistently exported off its network from these other systems to unknown third parties.”