American electric car manufacturing giant Tesla (Tesla) stated in court documents on January 23 local time that it has sued a software engineer, claiming that he had stolen approximately 26,000 confidential documents.
It is reported that this software engineer named Alex Khatilov (Alex Khatilov) was accused of”unscrupulously stealing tens of thousands of Teslas within 3 days of being hired.” Developed commercial secret computer scripts over the years” and transferred them to his personal Dropbox. Dropbox is a cloud storage service.
Tesla stated that when confronted by the Tesla security team, Khatilov claimed that he had only transferred”several personal administrative documents” while attempting to delete evidence.
Katilov argued that when he tried to back up a folder on his computer, the files appeared in his Dropbox by mistake.
Tesla stated that these confidential documents represent “the workload of 200 employees over several years” and are very valuable to the company and its competitors because they can provide “replicating Tesla’s innovative route map”.
According to court documents, Khatilov was hired on December 28, 2020. After that, Tesla’s security team detected an”abnormal” download of the file on January 6 through a video call. Confronted Khatilov who was working at home.
In this call, Khatilov postponed sharing his screen with the security team. During this period, the security team can detect that he is hurriedly deleting information on his personal computer.
However, investigators were still able to view the tens of thousands of confidential documents he uploaded to Dropbox, and Khatilov claimed that he”forgot about somehow”.
Tesla stated that it is not yet certain whether Khatilov has transferred the confidential documents elsewhere.”Actually, after he uploaded the stolen files to his Dropbox account, he could share or retransmit these files to anyone or any other storage medium (whether it’s another computer, mobile device or other cloud storage system) Tesla will not be able to know this.”
In an interview with the media, Khatilov said that he did not know that he had been sued on January 23. He was fired by Tesla on the same day.
He said:”When this happened, I was shocked. I did not lie (on anything).””I have been working in this industry for 20 years and I know that confidential documents are about What, and I have never tried to access any of these files or steal it.”
Katilov became another person in Silicon Valley accused of stealing trade secrets by Tesla. In 2019, a former Tesla employee who had quit to work at Zoox was sued.
In March 2020, Tesla sued rival Rivian Company, claiming that its employees had stolen trade secrets. According to a court document in December of last year, Martin Tripp, a former Tesla process technician, will compensate the company with $400,000 for sharing trade secrets.
South Capital reporter Shi Minglei