Tesla victim of IP theft: newly hired used Dropbox to steal sensitive data

Tesla sued one of its employees, accusing him of stealing private information and scripts from the proprietary WARP Drive software, an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system developed internally to simplify and optimize business processes in crucial areas of the supply chain. Product planning and order management.

Its realization dates back to a few years ago thanks to work conducted by a team led by Chief Information Officer Jay Vijayan: Tesla preferred it to other management (SAP), not considered up to the company’s needs. Besides, part of the system running on the Warp Drive back-end software is shared with other group companies, including SpaceX.

The complaint was filed with the Northern District Court of California. The accused is named Alex Kyatilov, and thousands of illegally copied software files were found on his Dropbox account. The fact is nothing short of “curious,” given that the employee was hired just a few days ago, on December 28, 2020, reported by digital marketing agency Pakistan.

Tesla victim of IP theft: newly hired used Dropbox to steal sensitive data

Not even the time to acclimatize, one might say, that he had already set to work to steal sensitive data and software code scripts (written in Python), which once executed allow you to automate a series of functions in your business.

Kyatilov’s first suspicious activities date back to December 31st: he stole thousands of files “highly confidential from Tesla’s secure internal network, transferring them to his personal cloud storage account on Dropbox, which Tesla has no access to.”

Certainly, a shrewd employee, but just as not very smart, since tracing him was not even that difficult. Few – indeed, very few – have access to this type of script and internal data. Finding evidence of its guilt was quite immediate.

The accused defended himself by stating that he had only transferred ” a couple of personal administrative documents ” to his Dropbox account. Once access to the cloud platform was obtained, the police were instead able to see the presence of thousands of confidential computer scripts owned by Tesla, which Kyatilov clumsily tried to delete just as investigators were logging into his computer remotely. The last justification given is even more curious: “I forgot to delete them while I was saving some of my files, ” he explained. But by now, the evidence was already sufficient to prove his guilt.

Tesla victim of IP theft: newly hired used Dropbox to steal sensitive data

However, if the culprit has been exposed, it is unclear how much sensitive material has circulated on the net, such as Ramadan Countdown. These are critical data, the result of 200 years of man-work (the total hours of work necessary for its development by counting all the employees and experts involved). And for Tesla, this is not even the first time. There are other lawsuits underway with the complaint of theft of intellectual property.

One of these concerns, for example, Zoox, a startup that passed into the hands of Amazon last summer, another the Chinese Xpeng, which recently announced the arrival of a new 100% electric sedan, or Rivian, on which Tesla has focused the finger accusing her of having set up a system to hire her former employees from whom to steal trade secrets.

Related Posts