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Senate targets auto hacking, reduces penalties in some cases

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Legislation unanimously approved by the Michigan Senate would prohibit people from hacking into motor vehicles' electronic systems without authorization and subject them to life imprisonment if the hacking leads to a death.

Bills sent to the House Thursday also would lighten existing felony penalties for fraudulently accessing computers, computer systems and computer networks in some cases.

Violators currently can face five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

The legislation would make it a 93-day misdemeanor and impose a $500 fine if the hacking could be "reversed or cured" without injuring people or property.

Violators whose hacking causes someone to be seriously injured could face up to 10 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.