Tesla Motors Inc. and its charismatic billionaire entrepreneur chief executive Elon Musk have a tradition of making numerous media-related announcements on their Twitter feed.
The tradition backfired on Saturday, when the Twitter and media-relations e-mail account were hacked, making the electric manufacturer one of the victims of the growing online vandalism plague. The person or persons who tampered with and compromised Tesla’s Twitter feed actually posted messages to the Palo Alto, California-based company’s online following – the official account has 564,000 followers. Also, one of the hackers used a known persona from other attacks related to companies to reply to an e-mail message to Tesla’s press contact, hinting the account was also compromised. The Twitter account attacks are growing increasingly common when it comes to important companies – and they are most often related to the failure of using the so-called two-factor authentication, which has the manager of the account enter both a password and a code sent via text message to the phone. The attackers than usually post their own Twitter handles or even shed confidential information about the company or its competitors.
Tesla Motors has been growing in importance among automakers recently, as the youngest publicly traded US carmaker is starting to expand. It still has only one model available on sale – the critically acclaimed Model S luxury sedan – but it has grown to have a global operational base. It’s also on the verge of introducing the Model X crossover as the second model in the lineup and then in 2017 it aims to present Model 3, an affordable battery-driven sedan. To support the growth, it has also started building in Nevada the largest battery factory in the world, in a drive to lower production costs for the future.