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Blog Tesla Sues Former Employee for Hacking Trade Secrets

Discussion in 'Tesla, Inc.' started by TMC Staff, Jun 20, 2018.

  1. SUN-day Driver

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    Tesla claims that not only did he plant the malware, he wrote it.
     
  2. Darmie

    Darmie Supporting Member

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    May have over look it but who was the 3rd party companies that were mentioned in the lawsuit?
     
  3. BluestarE3

    BluestarE3 Active Member

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    Maybe set up a GoFundMe to pay for a lifetime supply of these? ;)
    [​IMG]
     
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  4. Boomer19

    Boomer19 Supporting Member

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    in adapatabl’s defense, he’s right it’s unfair to blame UAW. allegations towards anyone at this point are unfounded by those who don’t know what happened. however, adaptabl, you’re off base on most of your other posts. i don’t know your motivation, but this tripp guys actions sure don’t seem like those of a patsy. are you suggesting that the charges/lawsuit are fake? that legal document and the language contained in it is fake? tesla is ruining a guys life because it wants an excuse in case it has to delay the milestone of 5,000 cars a week another few weeks/months, despite the grand scheme of things? seriously?

    yes, it’s possible the guys acting alone as a disgruntled bitter shrew.

    but, if we’re going to make hasty claims, how about its more likely this is just another page out of the short establishment playbook....
    https://teslamotorsclub.com/tmc/attachments/fairfax-pdf.310679/
     
  5. Economite

    Economite Member

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    #65 Economite, Jun 21, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2018
    There are really only three reasons a corporation like Tesla brings this sort of lawsuit:

    1. To scare the S*%t out of their other employees and former employees, thus dissuading them from talking to the press.
    2. To make press outlets and the public less likely to believe anything the leaker says, by painting the leaker as a "saboteur", "person seeking revenge", "industrial spy" or "nut." (and also to scare the leaker into not giving further interviews).
    3. To fulfill the CEOs anger and ego by destroying the leaker.

    Getting damages is totally unimportant. These sorts of tactics are excactly what allowed Theranos to get away with massive frauds for so long. (which is not to say that Tesla is a massive fraud, but is to say that Tesla's behavior here is just as consistent with that of a company covering something up as it is of a company trying to protect itself from a nut).
     
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  6. mongo

    mongo Well-Known Member

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    I call bull, why did you not give the genuine business based reasons?
    4) enforce the terms of the NDA, otherwise it has no teeth and is useless (similar to trademark infringement)
    5) find out who the confidential data was sent to and file suit, injuction, restraining orders against them. Only way to protect non-patented IP, trade secrets, proprietary information.
    6) discover others in the organization aligned with the alleged ne'er do well so as to remove them from play.

    Theranos, by analogy, has zero to do with this. Concider the existence of a working product on the Tesla side vs vapor on Theranos'.
     
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  7. bhzmark

    bhzmark Supporting Member

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    +1 who did he share the info with and did they or anyone else participate in his wrong-doing?
     
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  8. MikaMS

    MikaMS New Member

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    Well the police did investigation and found no credible threat.
    He (the whistleblower) has no skills needed to write code, let alone code to do anything malicious.
    He went to people inside tesla and they shrugged it off (the safety issues etc) so he then went to the outside people.

    So time will tell what comes of this but clearly company has more money (or does it?!) to fight this guy so unless someone stands to assist with his legal protections and or is indeed given whistleblower status (if the safety and process issues he claims are correct he will be given that status) the $ will “win”.
    But don’t confuse that with being correct.
     
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  9. sandpiper

    sandpiper Active Member

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    #69 sandpiper, Jun 22, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2018
    Unless I'm missing something there is really nothing in this that is "whistleblower" worthy. It seems that his major concerns are high levels of scrap, and some worker safety issues.

    Scrap is is a non-issue. All companies have it, and at the startup of a line it's going to be high. The costs will flow out through the financial performance, and the shareholders see the results every quarter. They've got smart people, and scrap will drop. And while worker safety is paramount, there is legislation in California to deal with those issues.

    It seems that the problems identified here are the sort that arise in all manufacturing firms and that get resolved as a matter of normal course. There is nothing here to excuse violating an NDA and sharing data with outside firms.
     
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  10. darrelld

    darrelld Member

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    This falls under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act specifically exceeding authorized authority in accessing data.
    I would not be surprised if the US Attorneys office is not already investigating. Tesla at a minimum should forensically image all the computers involved and follow a careful chain of custody with those images.

    At least 5 years in federal prison for all those involved is not uncommon. You really can't hide behind the case of whitsleblower as an excuse for exceeding your company authorized access privileges. Any who knows anything about this should come forward to the FBI as soon as possible to avoid their own legal difficulties.
     
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  11. mongo

    mongo Well-Known Member

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    In case you are confused, the police report was regarding the threat of violence called into Tesla, not the original case against Tripp.

    Don't confuse your unsubstantiated opinions/ assumptions with reported data. How do you know of his coding skill level? Do you have a reference to these ignored safely issues which would only require being raised to OHSA via anonymous report to escalate.
    From the filed lawsuit.

    14. On June 14 and 15, 2018, Tesla investigators interviewed Tripp regarding his misconduct. After Tripp initially stated that no misconduct had occurred, Tesla investigators confronted him with evidence to the contrary. At that point, Tripp admitted to writing software that hacked Tesla’s MOS and to transferring several gigabytes of confidential and proprietary Tesla data to entities outside the company. This included dozens of photographs and a video of Tesla’s manufacturing systems.
    15.During the interview, Tripp also admitted that he attempted to recruit additional sources inside the Gigafactory to share confidential Tesla data outside the company.
    16.While its investigation is still in the early stages, Tesla has also discovered that Tripp authored hacking software and placed it onto the computer systems of three other individuals at the company so that confidential Tesla data could be persistently exported off its network from these other systems to unknown third parties.
    17. Tripp also made false claims about the information he stole from Tesla. Tripp claimed that punctured battery cells had been used in some Model 3 customer vehicles even though the evidence clearly demonstrates that no punctured cells were ever used. Tripp also used the Tesla data that he exported to grossly overstate the true amount and value of “scrap” material that Tesla generated during the manufacturing process, and he falsely claimed that Tesla was delayed in bringing new manufacturing equipment online at the Gigafactory.
    18. Although Tesla’s investigation is ongoing, it has already suffered significant and continuing damages as a result of Tripp’s misconduct, which it seeks to recover through this action.
     
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  12. bro1999

    bro1999 Active Member

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    If that's true, why didn't Tesla call the local PD or even FBI and lodge a criminal complaint against Tripp? Why only a civil lawsuit that will result in Tesla getting basically nothing even if they win, as how much money are they gonna receive from a former low level employee? Only thing they would really get is "bragging" rights over winning a lawsuit against a "saboteur". I think Tesla's ultimate goal is to try and try to "trip" Tripp up in court with legal fees, and to eventually force him to settle on their terms and have him sign a NDA while tossing him some hush money.

    People are saying Tripp has a credibility issue, but he sure is handing out precise info nuggets (732 Model 3's on the road with punctured battery cells knowingly installed). He seems pretty confident for a "saboteur".
    https://jalopnik.com/tesla-leaker-is-looking-forward-to-the-lawsuit-over-all-1827032982
     
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  13. darrelld

    darrelld Member

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    I have been involved in FBI prosecutions of these cases and they don't release this type of information to the public until formal charges are filed.

    Civil suits can and often are filed in parallel with criminal prosecution. The downside of FBI involvement is the disruption to business processes while gathering evidence. Also companies will typically use their own in house IT personnel to gather evidence prior to presenting a case to the US Attorneys office.
     
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  14. mongo

    mongo Well-Known Member

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    How do you know they didn't?

    It is not nothing, see post #71 and the requests in the lawsuit itself.

    First off, bologna!

    If you bothered to provide the entire quote from your linked article rather than incorrectly paraphrasing, it said:
    Further, precision is not accuracy. I can say 5 posters on TMC are paid shills for OPEC who get paid a flat 3k per month, plus an additional $10 for each reaction to their posts with funds transfer in Bitcoin. Very precise, very nugget, very wrong (or at least unsubstantiated)

    Point being?
     
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  15. jelloslug

    jelloslug Active Member

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    Considering that he did not even work at the factory where the cars are built, his assessments of productions scrap and number of cars built is questionable at best.
     
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  16. darrelld

    darrelld Member

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    Tripp has only one option to avoid prison time at this point or at least reduced sentencing. Give a full disclosure to the US Attorney about all the person(s) involved, including who offered to pay for the stolen data.

    Things will get interesting after this.
     
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  17. mongo

    mongo Well-Known Member

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    Pulling from Musk v Shorts

    Given the information about Tripp allegedly trying to recruit others and Tesla's ability to present evidence to him that caused him to admit to his actions, I think 1. the others reported him, and 2. Tesla had been monitoring his activities/ internally generated communications. May have also had Federal Agencies involved early on also.
     
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  18. bro1999

    bro1999 Active Member

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    Point being is Tripp had direct access to data that Tesla considered very sensitive. I don't think that is in dispute. So stuff about precisely 732 Model 3's being outfitted with battery cells that had been punctured in the production process is not something he's pulling out of his ass or heard from a friend of a friend of a friend that walked by the Gigafactory once.

    A very public lawsuit played out in the courts for all to see can't be what Tesla really wants, especially when the discovery phase opens up. IMO all the huffing and puffing about the lawsuit is just Tesla trying to intimidate Tripp and get him to fold and agree to their terms. Though sounds like that is definitely NOT going to happen now.
     
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  19. jelloslug

    jelloslug Active Member

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    Or, he could have made it all up when he did not get the promotion he though he deserved after a few months of employment. He had plenty of time to find the perfect number between his admitted changing of code and writing and installing of his own custom malware.
     
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  20. bro1999

    bro1999 Active Member

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    If that's the case, it should be a slam dunk win in the courts for Tesla and they have nothing to worry about.
     

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