Earlier this year [4], Tesla Inc [6]. experienced a data breach that affected over 75,000 individuals [1] [5], primarily current or former employees [4]. This breach was attributed to insider wrongdoing [3] [4] [5], highlighting the importance of preventing insider threats and the need for stronger security controls.


The breach occurred in May and was caused by two former employees who violated Tesla’s data protection policies by sharing sensitive information with a German media outlet [5]. The compromised information included employee names [4], contact information [1] [2] [3] [4] [6], and personal details [4], such as Elon Musk’s Social Security number [6]. Tesla took immediate action by obtaining court orders to prohibit further use or dissemination of the data and seizing the devices containing company data. The media outlet involved has stated that they do not intend to publish the personal information and are legally prohibited from using it inappropriately [4]. Tesla has also reached out to the affected individuals and is providing complimentary credit monitoring [1]. No misuse of the data has been detected so far [5].

This incident raises concerns about the need for stronger security controls and highlights the importance of preventing insider threats. It is worth noting that this is not the first time Tesla employees have mishandled internal data, as previous reports indicated workers viewing and sharing private videos recorded by customers’ Teslas [2]. Furthermore, the breach was discovered after a German newspaper obtained internal Tesla data from company insiders [6]. The dataset [3] [6], known as the Tesla Files [6], contained over 23,000 records [6], including technical documents [6], customer complaints [6], and even Elon Musk’s Social Security number [6]. Tesla was notified of the breach and launched an investigation [6], determining that it was carried out by two former employees [6]. Lawsuits have been filed against the individuals [6], resulting in the seizure of their electronic devices [6]. The stolen data included names [6], addresses [4] [6], phone numbers [6], email addresses [6], and Social Security numbers [2] [5] [6]. This is not the first time Tesla’s network has been breached [6], as hackers gained access to the administrative console in 2018 [6]. However, in that instance [6], no customer data or vehicle security was compromised [6].


This data breach has significant impacts, as it exposed sensitive personal information of Tesla employees and highlighted the need for stronger security controls. Tesla has taken immediate action to address the breach and is providing support to the affected individuals. The incident also emphasizes the importance of preventing insider threats and implementing robust security measures. Moving forward, it is crucial for organizations to continuously evaluate and enhance their security protocols to protect against data breaches and safeguard sensitive information.


[1] https://www.darkreading.com/attacks-breaches/tesla-data-breach-investigation-reveals-inside-job
[2] https://www.theverge.com/2023/8/21/23839940/tesla-data-leak-inside-job-handelsblatt
[3] https://techaeris.com/2023/08/21/tesla-data-breach-was-caused-by-insider-wrongdoing/
[4] https://www.engadget.com/tesla-says-data-breach-that-affected-over-75000-people-was-caused-by-insider-wrongdoing-121756644.html
[5] https://tech.co/news/teslas-huge-data-breach
[6] https://siliconangle.com/2023/08/21/tesla-reveals-insider-data-breach-affected-75000-current-former-employees/