Russians steal tractors in Ukraine, GPS system locks machines
A well-known heroic image from Ukraine is that of the farmer who towed a Russian tank with his tractor at the end of February. Today, in the besieged Ukrainian city of Melitopol, the opposite happened: the Russian army fled with tractors and other agricultural equipment worth $5 million . In vain, a Ukrainian businessman tells CNN†
After a journey of more than 1000 kilometers, the Russians only discovered in Chechnya that the stolen machines had been blocked. John Deere tractors, combines and seed drills are equipped with an anti-theft system with GPS. “It wasn’t until the intruders drove the stolen combines into Chechnya that they discovered they couldn’t turn them on because the machines were locked remotely,” the source told CNN.
Pirated software comes from Ukraine
The Russians may be able to circumvent the blockade, although it is not easy. John Deere machines have been criticized in recent years for their closed design. Farmers can no longer repair their tractors themselves without the cooperation of the manufacturer, which has already been done in the United States gave rise to complaints† John Deere can shut down all newer machines even without owner cooperation, which is rare in practice.
The John Deere situation is even pushing some farmers to install pirated software on their tractors so they can perform “unauthorized” repairs. This pirated software becomes accidentally made in Ukraine†
This is also not the first time that the Russian military has unwittingly published its movements via technology: the Russian invasion of Ukraine has already been discovered early via Google Maps†
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