Samuel Huist
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New Michigan Bill Would Make Life in Prison a Potential Consequence for Car Hacking

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A new Michigan law would make car hacking a felony and a life sentence could be given to perpetrators

Car hacking perpetrators would be severely punished with potential new law

In 2015, Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek demonstrated to the public how the 2014 Jeep Cherokee’s Uconnect system can be manipulated by hackers, which gave them full control over the vehicle’s windshield wipers and stereo settings. In addition, the two men were even able to disable the Jeep’s braking system at low speeds.

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Miller and Valasek performed this hack at the consent of senior WIRED magazine writer Andy Greenberg, who acted as the real-life crash test dummy. Since the video of that hack went public, Chrysler provided an update to stop that type of hacking and the two hacking geniuses were even hired by Uber to help develop a system that would protect its self-driving technology from hacks.

Almost a year later, two new bills have been introduced to the Michigan Senate that would make it a felony in the state to “intentionally access or cause access to be made to an electronic system of a motor vehicle to willfully destroy, damage, impair, alter or gain unauthorized control of the motor vehicle.”

These two new bills are officially referred to as Senate Bills 927 and 928, which were sponsored by Senators Mike Kowall, R-White Lake, and Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth. If these bills go through, violators could face up to life in prison.

“I hope that we never have to use it,” Kowall told Automotive News. “That’s why the penalties are what they are. The potential for severe injury and death are pretty high.”

Kowall also explained that this bill was a proactive measure that was meant to help prevent dangerous car hacking before it starts.

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News Source: Automotive News (subscription required)

  • Samuel HuistEditor

    Samuel Huist is easily the tallest member (6-feet 5-inches) of the The News Wheel team. He enjoys listening to hip-hop music and loves watching NBA basketball. Sam is also a Dayton, Ohio native and doesn’t seem to mind that distinction as much anymore. His first car was a 1996 Ford Taurus he could barely fit in. Like many young folks, he seemed more concerned about the radio in his first car than actually doing the work to maintain an automobile, so sadly it’s no longer with us. See more articles by Samuel.