How a Hacked Tractor Added Fuel to the Right-to-Repair Movement

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Farming has gotten fairly tech-savvy. These days, there are all kinds of Wi-Fi-enabled, app-controlled, and autonomously piloted machines on the market doing the tilling and harvesting. The largest participant in the high-tech farming discipline is John Deere, a firm which retains very tight management over who can modify or restore its tractors and different farm gear. The firm’s insurance policies have drawn ire from advocates in the right-to-repair motion, who suppose that when you purchase one thing, you need to be in a position to repair it, improve it, or modify it with out having to leap by means of the firm’s hoops. Recently, a white-hat hacker found a means to jailbreak John Deere tractors, permitting all kinds of non-company sanctioned entry to the units. It’s a large transfer that has implications for the safety of the meals provide and for the repairability of units throughout the world.


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This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior author Lily Hay Newman joins us to focus on the newest John Deere hack and what it means for the broader right-to-repair motion.

Show Notes

Read Lily’s story about the jailbreak of John Deere tractors. Read Andy Greenberg’s story about getting hacked whereas driving a Jeep at 70 mph. Here’s Lily on what occurred when a ransomware attack hit JBS meat processing amenities. Follow all of WIRED’s security and right-to-repair protection.


Lily recommends carrying N95 masks, particularly the very fashionable Kimberly Clark duckbill mask. Lauren recommends the New Yorker interview with Ocean Vuong, writer of poetry assortment Night Sky with Wounds and the novel On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous. Mike recommends the music of Patrice Rushen.

Lily Newman may be discovered on Twitter @lilyhnewman. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the major hotline at @GadgetLab. The present is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.

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