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Communications of the ACM

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The Dark Triad and Insider Threats in Cyber Security

The Dark Triad, illustration

Credit: Alicia Kubista / Andrij Borys Associates

"I was dismayed to learn this weekend about a Tesla employee who had conducted quite extensive and damaging sabotage to our operations. This included making direct code changes to the Tesla Manufacturing Operating System under false usernames and exporting large amounts of highly sensitive Tesla data to unknown third parties."
    —Tesla CEO Elon Musk in an email to Tesla employees.6

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Key Insights


Insider cyber sabotage4 such as that mentioned by Mr. Musk is one of the reasons cyber security remains a top managerial concern. Insider threats, such as the Tesla sabotage, are among the greatest of these security concerns.24 A major reason for this is that insider security breaches are seen as more costly than those from outsiders.16,20


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