USL Tesla sues former employee for stealing data

Company says ex-worker created hacking software that would steal information from company even after he was terminated
SAN FRANCISCO: Tesla filed a lawsuit Wednesday against a former employee for allegedly stealing several gigabytes of sensitive company information.
Martin Tripp stole data related to how the luxury electric automaker manufactures its cars, including dozens of photos and videos of the process, according to the lawsuit filed in federal court in Nevada.
Tripp, who was hired at the company’s “Gigafactory” in Nevada as a process technician in October of 2017, admitted that he had taken company information when he was confronted by internal investigators for Tesla earlier this month.
“Tesla has only begun to understand the full scope of Tripp’s illegal activity, but he has thus far admitted to writing software that hacked Tesla’s manufacturing operating system and to transferring several gigabytes of Tesla data to outside entities,” attorneys for Tesla wrote in a filing.
Tesla accuses Tripp of trying to get other employees to join him in his scheme.
“Beyond the misconduct to which Tripp admitted, he also wrote computer code to periodically export Tesla’s data off its network and into the hands of third parties,” the complaint continued.
The lawsuit says that this hacking software would make it seem like other employees were stealing data even after Tripp left the company.
On Twitter, Tesla CEO Elon Musk suggested Wednesday that employees like Tripp have made it harder for the company to produce its Model 3 sedans.
Investors have been pressuring the company to speed up production of the Model 3. At a shareholders meeting earlier in June, Musk said that the Model 3 production had reached 3,500 cars per week, but the company wants to increase production to 6,000 per week by the end of the month in order to break even on each car produced.
“There is more, but the actions of a few bad apples will not stop Tesla from reaching its goals,” Musk tweeted in response to a question about allegations of employee sabotage.
Tripp has not publically responded to the suit.–AA

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