Read more from Author Rachel Maga here: https://globelivemedia.com/author/rachel-maga/
The tech world can be cutthroat. It must be said that there are many secrets in companies, often in the form of lines of code
Tesla is no stranger to technology theft. Like any business that innovates, you might say. Still, this last case could be particularly cheeky if it is true. As Electrek reports, the electric vehicle maker is now suing Alex Khatilov for alleged theft of company-designed Warp Drive software that is used to automate purchasing and other systems. The theft would have taken place only three days after taking up his post, at the end of December 2020. Alex Khatilov would have copied “thousands” of script files related to Warp Drive to his personal Dropbox account.
Tesla accuses Alex Khatilov of stealing scripts from Warp Drive software
The company also accuses Alex Khatilov of trying to cover up his actions. He allegedly lied when he said he only transferred personal documents when investigators questioned him. He also claimed to have “forgotten” everything about the files when he gave investigators access to his Dropbox space. The engineer even attempted to delete the Dropbox app and other files early on in his questioning, according to Tesla.
Just three days after being hired
Tesla also did not raise the possibility that Alex Khatilov would have coordinated with other individuals. The brand warned, however, that it had “not discovered” all of the engineer’s actions, and that he could still be sharing files belonging to the brand. The man had to operate remotely because of the pandemic and the health crisis, making it more difficult to verify that the files were deleted.
The manufacturer has been very protective of its technologies in the past, suing Rivian and Zoox in particular after debauchery of employees who allegedly took company secrets with them. This is in addition to lawsuits against people, notably Martin Tripp who, in Elon Musk’s own words, is a “saboteur”. Alex Khatilov’s case, if true, will only increase Tesla’s fears about the theft of tech secrets. If people come to the manufacturer just to steal tools, Tesla might rightly want to protect its tech even more.
Rachel Maga is a technology journalist currently working at Globe Live Media agency. She has been in the Technology Journalism field for over 5 years now. Her life’s biggest milestone is the inside tour of Tesla Industries, which was gifted to her by the legend Elon Musk himself.