US to deport Russian man who got caught attempting to hack into Tesla’s Nevada battery plant

Russian man who tried to hack into Tesla plant in the United States would be deported back.

Egor Igorevich Kriuchkov, was sentenced on Monday to what amounted to time already served and will be deported from the United States after pleading guilty to trying to pay a Tesla employee $500,000 to install computer malware at the company’s Nevada electric battery plant in a bid to steal company secrets for ransom.

“I’m sorry for my decision. I regret it,” the 27-year-old Kriuchkov said through a Russian-language court interpreter.

Kriuchkov said the nine months he has been in US custody made him reflect on the pain he caused his family in Russia and the damage caused to his reputation. Several family members sent email messages to the judge seeking leniency.

“I understand it was a bad decision,” said Kriuchkov said, who could have faced up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The judge, who agreed not to use the company name in court, went along with a plea agreement reached between prosecutors and Kriuchkov.

He was sentenced to 10 months in custody for his guilty plea in March to conspiracy to intentionally cause damage to a protected computer; to pay about $14,825 in restitution for company time investigating the attempted intrusion and turning the case over to the FBI and; three years of federal supervision if he remains in the US or returns from abroad. He will remain in custody until he leaves the country.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk acknowledged after Kruichkov’s arrest in August in Los Angeles that the company had been the target of what Musk termed a serious effort to collect company secrets.

Tesla has a massive factory near Reno that makes batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage units. Federal authorities credited the employee with reporting Kriuchkov’s overtures to company officials.

The hack was designed as a distributed denial-of-service attack, using junk data to flood the Tesla computer system, while a second intrusion would let co-conspirators extract data from the company network and demand ransom with the threat of making the information public.