Egor Igorevich Kriuchkov is in a U.S. jail, accused of trying to hack a human target.
That human target is a Tesla employee that Kriuchkov and his ransomware gang were willing to bribe with $1 million if the company insider would help them launch a cyberattack against Tesla.
The U.S. Department of Justice announced charges against the 27-year-old Russian citizen in early September:
"According to the indictment, from about July 16, 2020, to about Aug. 22, 2020, Kriuchkov conspired with associates to recruit an employee to introduce malware into the computer network of the employee's company. The malware would purportedly provide Kriuchkov and his co-conspirators with access to the data within the computer system. After the malware was introduced, Kriuchkov and his co-conspirators would extract data from the network and then threaten to make the information public, unless the company paid their ransom demand."
According to the probable cause affidavit in the case, the Russian ransomware group believed Tesla would be willing to pay a $4 million ransom to have the group destroy the stolen data instead of publishing it.
How did the Tesla ransomware suspect get caught?
SecureWorld News recently detailed how the Tesla employee in this case helped the FBI and its ensuing cybercrime sting.
If you are interested in learning about the diversionary attack the cybercriminals had planned, clandestine meetings, and how far your organization's adversaries will go to attack you from the inside, then read our original post: Inside an FBI Ransomware Sting: The Cybercriminals Trying to Bribe Your Employees.
After you read it, you may be shaking your head that Kriuchkov faces a maximum sentence of just five years in prison for his attempt to hack a human at Tesla.