A dive into the thriving black market of John Deere tractor hacking.
To avoid the draconian locks that John Deere puts on the tractors they buy, farmers throughout America’s heartland have started hacking their equipment with firmware that’s cracked in Eastern Europe and traded on invite-only, paid online forums.
Tractor hacking is growing increasingly popular because John Deere and other manufacturers have made it impossible to perform “unauthorized” repair on farm equipment, which farmers see as an attack on their sovereignty and quite possibly an existential threat to their livelihood if their tractor breaks at an inopportune time.
Phi Beta Iota: The US Government refused to act on the 1994 warning letter from Robert Steele, Winn Schwartau, Bill Caelli, and Jim Anderson (senior NSA cyber-security engineer, anonymous at the time). Every artifact that relies on software is correct. The John Deere tractor — and their neo-fascist policies with respect to control over parts and repairs — is a poster-child for everything that is wrong with the Western way of capitalism.