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Michael Hastings Car Crash Had Markings Of ‘Car Cyberattack,’ Says Former Bush Adviser

Michael Hastings died in a car crash that had all the markings of a sophisticated computer hack, a former cybersecurity adviser to President George W. Bush said this week.

Richard Clarke, a former State Department official and adviser to several United States presidents, said the crash that killed the Rolling Stone journalist appeared to be consistent with what he called a “car cyberattack.” Hastings died in the early morning hours on June 18 when his 2013 Mercedes C250 sped through Los Angeles streets before striking a tree and bursting into flames.

Clarke said the crash could have been orchestrated by a computer hacker able to gain access to the car’s controls.

“What has been revealed as a result of some research at universities is that it’s relatively easy to hack your way into the control system of a car, and to do such things as cause acceleration when the driver doesn’t want acceleration, to throw on the brakes when the driver doesn’t want the brakes on, to launch an air bag,” Clarke told The Huffington Post. “You can do some really highly destructive things now, through hacking a car, and it’s not that hard.”

“So if there were a cyberattack on the car — and I’m not saying there was,” Clarke continued, “I think whoever did it would probably get away with it.”

Though the Los Angeles Police Department officially ruled Michael Hastings’ death as an accident and said no foul play was involved, the circumstances of the crash left many questions.

Just before his death Hastings was working on a big story that those close to him believed would expose the CIA. On Monday, hours before he would die, Hastings wrote an email to close friends telling them the was onto a big story but fearful, and would need to go off the radar for a while.

The circumstances surrounding the death of Michael Hastings — including witness accounts that said the crash sounded like a bomb going off — have fueled many conspiracy theories. The International Business Times wrote that “some of the details surrounding the story [of Hastings’ death] read like a poorly-written political thriller.”

 

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11 Responses to “Michael Hastings Car Crash Had Markings Of ‘Car Cyberattack,’ Says Former Bush Adviser”

  1. Daniel Cooper

    Hey Alex will you have a online memorial for the deaths of investigative reporters that have recently mysteriously died? Micheal Hastings death sounds a lot like Andrew Beitbart's mysterious death and the mysterious death of the two Los Angeles Coroners that followed. The mainstream media compliance is spooky. Can they have Snowden mysteriously die in Russia?

  2. Anonymous

    Well, I am not at all surprised. I'm just a little surprised that someone with credentials in the field went on record. How come? Anyway, I'm glad I drive an old-fashioned car that has nothing electronic in it. Not that anyone would want to off me because I am a nobody. But I really recommend to those somebodies that they drive vintage cars. Seriously. They are not only fabulous rides — they can't be hacked. Stay safe out there all you Truth Warriors!

  3. Mike Brooks

    Shootouts on TV are far from real life. Anyone that’s been around a shoot-out will tell you, ‘You never seen people move so fast’. Similar to turning on the kitchen light and cockroaches run for cover, except faster. It is known that some criminal organizations use a large vehicle to run you off the road or just run you over if you don’t drive. If that doesn’t do it, a none moving target is an ease shot to finish you off. If they examine the vehicle, closely they will find bullet holes or if there are parts of the car missing, like doors, windows etc. That’s where the holes were. When I watched the video, the first thing I thought of was, he was running from a shooter. That’s the only time you see people move that fast.

  4. Don Farkas

    Just as we have laws requiring tamper resistant containers to help protect against malicious persons putting harmful substances into our medications and foods, should not vehicles operated using computerized processing systems be designed to protect against the possible introduction of malicious programs by hackers? Also, it would seem to be reasonable to require vehicles to have mechanical overrides available to the driver in case of computer and electrical problems affecting the most vital aspects of the vehicle's functioning. (E.g., Mechanical shut off of fuel in case of throttle malfunction, stronger mechanical emergency brakes in case of primary brake system failure, mechanical steering override in case of computer controlled "drive-by-wire" malfunction, mechanical overrides of electric power window and door lock mechanisms, etc.)

  5. Don Farkas

    Witness Jose Rubalcava stated in videotaped interviews with the LoudLabs freelance videographer and on "The Young Turks" program that he saw Hastings' car going southbound on Highland Avenue, traveling at high speed through the intersection with Melrose Boulevard while bouncing three or four times with "flames and sparks" coming from the gas tank area. In one interview, he illustrated the car's bouncing on the pavement by slapping hard one hand down against the other three times and stating (in imperfect English),"Like that, on the floor!" Mr. Rubalcava specifically emphasized that the car's bouncing with flames and sparks visible happened before it had even finished crossing the light at Melrose. Moments afterwards, and at least a few hundred feet farther south of Melrose on Highland, Hastings' car swerved into the median and crashed into a palm tree where it became engulfed by fire. An unanswered question is, what could have made Hastings' 2013 Mercedes C250 bounce like that?

    It is noteworthy that the 5:32 minute long video-recorded "Raw Footage of Michael Hastings' Car Crash" released by LoudLabs News includes a dash cam view of the roadway heading southbound on Highland towards the intersection with Melrose. This ironically follows the very same route that Hastings' car was witnessed traveling a few minutes earlier just before the crash. In looking at the dash cam video, it appears to show a very clear looking roadway on Highland north of and through the intersection with Melrose, with no obvious bumps, dips, or potholes. However, a closer, individual frame look at the dash cam images using the "pause" function briefly shows a small puddle of liquid that was present in Highland's southbound lane Number 3, located perhaps about thirty feet or so north of the white painted "limit line" demarcating the intersection with Melrose. It is briefly seen at 0.08 seconds into the video as it reflects light coming from the surrounding street lights, and including a moment when it reflects the green light emitted by the green traffic signal on Melrose. Did the police investigators also find that small puddle and identify the liquid to rule out any possible connection with Hastings' vehicle? That certainly would have been useful in evaluating Mr. Rubalcava's observation about seeing Hastings' car bouncing with flames and sparks hundreds of feet north of where the car ultimately crashed and burned.