On Wednesday, Tesla Motors filed a lawsuit against a former employee who allegedly hacked its systems and stole gigabytes of data from the company. The worker claims that he is not a thief but a ‘whistleblower.’
According to court documents, Martin Tripp, an ex process technician at Tesla, allegedly designed a piece of “software that hacked Tesla’s manufacturing operating system (‘MOS’) and transferred several gigabytes of Tesla data to outside entities.”
The stolen data include imagery of the company’s manufacturing systems, that are supposed to remain secret. Dozens of photos of confidential tools were reportedly leaked.
Tripp is also accused of using his own code to instruct Tesla computers to beam data periodically to individuals outside the firm. Tesla also accuses the former technician of making false statements during media interviews.
For instance, Tripp told reporters that Tesla re-used punctured battery cells on some Model 3 cars. The carmaker denied the accusations. Also, the former technician is accused of “vastly” exaggerating the amount of waste created in the manufacturing process.
The company told the court that the former employee was disgruntled over not being given a more important position in the company. Tesla accuses Tripp of being “disruptive” and aggressive toward his colleagues. Tripp allegedly became combative and avenging after he was redesigned to a new role.
The company refused to reply to a request for comment, while the former employee could not be reached for comment.
On Tuesday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk warned other workers that one of their colleagues had sabotaged the company extensively. Several media reports have identified the worker mentioned in Musk’s e-mail as Tripp.
Tripp’s actions could shake the public’s trust in autonomous vehicles. A Tesla worker with coding skills can harm drivers in numerous ways. The good news about Tripp is that his only goal was to steal intellectual property.
Image Source: Tesla Motors
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