Tesla chief and multi-billionaire Elon Musk took to Twitter recently to make a quip about the recent case involving a Russian national who pleaded guilty to attempting to hack the electric carmaker and hold it to ransom.
Egor Igorevich Kriuchkov, 26, teamed up with a Russian cybercrime gang, which tasked him with travelling to the US to recruit a Tesla employee to plant malware in the company computer system.
Преступленіе и наказаніе— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 19, 2021
Musk Twitted on Saturday “Преступленіе и наказаніе” (Crime and Punishment), the famous 1866 socio philosophical novel by Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky. Musk notably wrote the title of the book in lettering that was used before Russia's orthographic reform of 1917-1918
The main character of the novel is a poor former student called Rodion Raskolnikov, who plans to kill an old unscrupulous pawnbroker to get her money, believing that escaping poverty would give him the opportunity to perform good deeds, but after committing the crime, he is wracked by spiritual torment and self-loathing.
It's not clear if the tech mogul wishes Kriuchkov to suffer psychological torture for his deed, or just used the reference to crack a gag, but some Twitter users were just glad to see that Musk knows his Russian classics.
— 💚 (@wtfnedg) March 19, 2021
— Emin (@Emin61461200) March 19, 2021
— firstname.lastname@example.org (@serhatsenli35) March 19, 2021
— Chris T (@Christojt) March 19, 2021
Kriuchkov originally pleaded not guilty when the charges were filed against him on 3 September 2020. However, he made a plea deal and is now looking at between four and ten months in jail with three years of supervised release instead of a potential five-years sentence, three years of supervised release, and a potential $250,000 fine.
The Department of Justice complaint reads that Kriuchkov travelled to the US at the behest of a Russian cybercrime gang in the summer of 2020 and contacted a worker at the Tesla Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada. He allegedly offered the employee $1 million to upload malware to Tesla computers in a bid to extract data and use it to extort money from the carmaker.
The Tesla employee contacted the FBI and the agency arrested the Russian national as he was attempting to leave the United States.