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Charlie Miller

image of Morrison-GurzaCharlie Miller, often called "one of the most technically proficient hackers on Earth," will give a talk on cyber security titled “If You Make It, We Can Break It!” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 12 in the Bone Student Center.

The event, which is part of the President’s Speaker Series at Illinois State University, is sponsored by the College of Applied Science and Technology, the Harold K. Sage Fund and the Illinois State University Foundation.

After receiving his doctorate in mathematics from the University of Notre Dame, Miller was a computer hacker for the National Security Agency for five years. Since that time he has been a consultant and worked for the Twitter information security team. He has won the “Super Bowl” of computer hacking—the annual Pwn2Own competition—four times. 

Miller has found countless vulnerabilities in a number of Apple products including their laptops and phones. Perhaps the most notorious of these issues was the ability to remotely compromise an iPhone by merely sending it a malicious text message. He also has the privilege of having been the first to remotely exploit the iPhone when it was released as well as the first Android phone when it was released (on the day it came out). After that, he began focusing on embedded security and has done research in the fields of laptop battery security as well as near field communications (NFC) of cellular phones.

Lately, Miller has spent considerable time in the field of automotive security along with his research partner Chris Valasek. Originally he showed that with direct access to a vehicle, the physical systems of a Ford and Toyota could be controlled by a hacker.  Recently, he expanded this research to show that these attacks could be done remotely. Miller demonstrated that a variety of Fiat Chrysler vehicles could be remotely hacked from anywhere in the country and he could control the radio, brakes, wipers, transmission, and even the steering of the target vehicle. 

The demonstration of these vulnerabilities led to the recall of 1.4 million vehicles. Miller has been featured on the Today Show, ABC World News Tonight, CNN, NPR, CNBC, New York Times, USA Today, Forbes, etc.

The talk, in celebration of College of Applied Science and Technology Week, is sponsored by the college.

The President's Speaker Series seeks to bring innovative and enlightening speakers to the campus with the aim of providing the community with a platform to foster dialogue, cultivate enriching ideas, and continue an appreciation of learning as an active and lifelong process. All talks are free and open to the public.

For more information, or if you need special accommodations to fully participate in the Speaker Series, contact Julie Barnhill, director of Presidential and Trustee Events, at or (309) 438-8790.

Back to the President’s Speaker Series website

2016-01-07T09:46:04.301-06:00 2016