Mich. bill would make car hacking a felony punishable by life in prison

A proposed Michigan bill would make hacking a vehicle’s electric systems a felony punishable by life in prison.
A proposed Michigan bill would make hacking a vehicle’s electric systems a felony punishable by life in prison.

Hacking a connected car in Michigan could warrant up to a life sentence behind bars if recently proposed legislation is passed into law.

Michigan State Senators Mike Kowall (R-Mich.) and Ken Horn (R-Mich.) Thursday sponsored a bill that will make it a felony 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."

"I hope that we never have to use it," Kowall told Automotive News. "That's why the penalties are what they are.”

It is unclear how or if the bill will be used against the work of white hat researchers.

Similar legislation has already been proposed at the federal level and earlier this week; automakers formed a lobby to help influence cybersecurity legislation aimed at connected vehicles. 

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