At a security conference, a hacker presented a jailbreak for John Deere tractors.
Current agricultural machines are now equipped with a lot of electronics.
Tractors and other agricultural machinery have long been considered veterans with a limited range of functions, most of which were used for many decades. In recent decades, however, combine harvesters, tractors and other agricultural machines have undergone many innovations. Accordingly, these devices are now just as complex as current vehicles from the passenger car sector. However, this also makes the agricultural machinery interesting for hackers.
1.5 GB of log files
The hacker Slick Codes surprised at the DefCon Security Conference with a jailbreak that is not intended for smartphones or game consoles. Instead, it is intended to give interested users access to hidden functions in John Deere tractors. To do this, however, the hacker had to solder a new controller to the mainboard of the tractor computer. This allows authentication to be bypassed, which normally only the manufacturer can do. This gave the hacker full access to the heart of the tractor. Here you will find log files of up to 1.5 GB, which can be used to identify problems with a tractor. However, the method could also be interesting for other hackers.
Access despite manufacturer lock
Because the manufacturer actually wants to prevent manipulation of the agricultural vehicles with this authentication. As with modern vehicles, a quick repair by the owner is hardly possible. Only authorized specialist companies may tamper with the hardware. But even a faulty update from the manufacturer can ensure that a machine is down for several days. With the recent hack, resourceful hobbyists could also take a look at the machines in the future.
Motorists and motorcyclists are now threatened with fatal accidents involving combine harvesters