Daily Crunch: Tesla targeted in ransomware attack

The Justice Department reveals a thwarted malware attack on Tesla, Facebook tests linking your news subscriptions to your social network account and Xiaomi has plans for under-screen cameras. This is your Daily Crunch for August 28, 2020.

The big story: Tesla targeted in ransomware attack

The Justice Department released a complaint Thursday describing a thwarted malware attack against an unidentified company in Sparks, Nevada, where Tesla has a factory. And Elon Musk confirmed in a tweet that Tesla was the target: “This was a serious attack.”

In the complaint, the Justice Department alleged that Russian national Egor Igorevich Kriuchkov attempted to recruit and bribe a Tesla employee to introduce malware in the company’s network — specifically ransomware, which encrypts a victim’s files and, in this case, would also have exfiltrated the data to the hacker’s servers.

The tech giants

Facebook tests linking your FB account to your news subscriptions — Once you’re linked, if you encounter a paywalled article on Facebook, you’ll be able to read it without hitting the paywall or having to log in again.

Xiaomi plans to bring under-screen cameras to its smartphones next year — The company says it’s been able to effectively double the pixel density of competing technology, letting light through to the camera without sacrificing the uniformity of the screen.

Startups, funding and venture capital

Railsbank is buying Wirecard Card Solutions, the UK arm of the disgraced fintech — Wirecard collapsed into insolvency earlier this year after facing a huge accounting scandal and subsequently failing to make payments on $1.5 billion in loans.

Steno raises $3.5 million led by First Round to become an extension of law offices — Steno’s first offering lines up court reporters and pays them, removing both potential headaches from lawyers’ to-do lists.

Femtech poised for growth beyond fertility — That’s according to an analyst note from PitchBook, which identifies opportunities for entrepreneurs in broadening out from a traditional focus on reproductive health.

Advice and analysis from Extra Crunch

SaaS stocks survive earnings, keeping the market warm for software startups, exits — We’re on the other end of nearly every single SaaS earnings report that you can name (with the exception of Slack).

Podcast is social: How China’s Lizhi makes audio interactive — “I learned from my days working in radio that interaction is the best monetization model in the audio business,” founder Marco Lai told us.

What does GPT-3 mean for the future of the legal profession? — Rudy DeFelice of Keesal Propulsion Labs argues that GPT-3 might be a game changer in legal and other knowledge-focused organizations.

(Reminder: Extra Crunch is our subscription membership program, which aims to democratize information about startups. You can sign up here.)

Everything else

GM shifts Corvette engineering team to its electric and autonomous vehicle programs — Specifically, the team responsible for the the mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette.

Android security bug let malicious apps siphon off private user data — App security startup Oversecured found the flaw in Google’s widely used Play Core library.

Laura Deming, Frederik Groce, Amish Jani, Jessica Verrilli and Vanessa Larco are coming to Disrupt — They’re just five of this year’s Startup Battlefield judges.

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 3pm Pacific, you can subscribe here.

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