Friday, April 29, 2016
Hoping to access and remotely take charge of a vehicle’s operating system via your laptop? Expect to shower with strange men in a place where the Wi-Fi sucks.
Life behind bars is the penalty proposed by two Michigan senators seeking to regulate the state’s connected and autonomous vehicle industry, Automotive News reports.
The bills introduced yesterday make it a super-duper felony to intentionally access a vehicle’s electronic system for the purpose of damaging it or gaining control of the vehicle.
As a demonstration, two computer experts did just that to a Jeep Cherokee travelling on a St. Louis highway last summer, leading to the recall of 1.4 million Fiat-Chrysler vehicles equipped with the hack-prone Uconnect system.
It’s expected that more bills will follow yesterday’s Senate Bill 927 and 928, as lawmakers generally lean towards comprehensive regulation of an emerging industry, rather than piecemeal legislation.
Senators Mike Kowall (R) and Ken Horn (R) claim the legislation is proactive, with Kowall saying he hopes the legislation, if passed, is never used.
“That’s why the penalties are what they are,” he said. “The potential for severe injury and death are pretty high.”
The hackers behind the Cherokee stunt were able to control the Jeep’s steering and braking systems, as well as its transmission.
Infotainment and GPS systems are the keyholes that hackers use to enter and access a vehicle’s primary functions. FCA installed a patch on its software during last year’s recall, but some companies are now developing a beefier vehicle firewall.
The two Michigan bills were sent to the Senate judiciary committee, so there’s little time left for the state’s hackers to get their kicks. After that, it’s back to the well-paying job, community work and recurrent carnal relations they’re best known for.