Aug 22, 2023 - Technology

Tesla says insiders leaked employees' data

Illustration of Tesla steering wheel with yellow tape wrapped around it

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Tesla suffered a data leak in May that affected more than 75,000 employees, according to a breach notification letter filed in Maine on Friday.

Why it matters: Leaked data includes information about current and former employees, such as their address, phone number, email addresses and Social Security number, per the letter.

What's happening: According to the letter, two former Tesla employees leaked the data to German newspaper Handelsblatt.

  • Handelsblatt notified Tesla that it had the data and told the company it does not intend to publish the information.
  • Steven Elentukh, Tesla's data privacy officer, filed the breach letter with the Maine Attorney General's Office in adherence to the state's data breach reporting laws.

Catch up quick: Handelsblatt reported in May that insiders had leaked 100 gigabytes of data that appeared to have come from Tesla's IT system.

  • However, the story focused on information detailing Tesla's issues with developing a self-driving car.

The intrigue: Elentukh noted in the letter that the company has since filed two lawsuits against the former employees and obtained court orders to "prohibit the former employees from further use, access, or dissemination of the data, subject to criminal penalties."

The big picture: Tesla's notice comes as insider threats at companies continue to rise.

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