Remote lockdowns are reportedly preventing Russian troops from using stolen Ukrainian farming equipment

Russian troops stole nearly $5 million worth of farm equipment from a John Deere dealership in the occupied city of Melitopol, Ukraine, only to find the machines were remotely shut down, rendering them inoperable, according to a report by CNN. Some of the devices, equipped with a remote locking feature and built-in GPS, were tracked over 700 miles away in the yurt village of Zakhan, Chechnya.

A source familiar with the situation told CNN that after the occupation of Melitopol in March, Russian troops gradually began taking machines from the dealership. It reportedly started with two combines worth $300,000 each, a tractor and a seed drill until troops towed away all 27 pieces of equipment. Some of the equipment went to Chechnya, while others reportedly ended up in a nearby village.

“When the intruders drove the stolen harvesters into Chechnya, they found they couldn’t even turn them on because the harvesters were remotely locked,” a CNN source told the outlet.

Although the devices were disabled remotely, CNN’s source says Russian troops may be trying to find a way around the block as they are in contact with “advisers in Russia who are trying to bypass protection.” In addition to agricultural equipment, Russian troops have also reportedly stolen crops in the area belonging to Ukraine largest exports.

become agricultural implements surprisingly high-tech, for better or for worse. John Deere in particular was Center of a right-to-repair debate, as its software prevents farmers from repairing their equipment themselves. As the company demonstrated in this stolen farm equipment case, although John Deere said so, it is free to shut down its machines whenever it chooses Bloomberg in 2020 that it “has never activated this capacity, except for construction machinery in China, where financing conditions require it”. Some farmers have even gone so far Download pirated John Deere firmware to escape the company’s clutches.

This isn’t the first time looting has backfired on Russian troops during their invasion of Ukraine. According to a report by The times, a Ukrainian has used Apple’s Find My feature, which locates a device using Bluetooth signals bouncing off other nearby Apple devices, to track the movements of Russian troops after they stole his AirPods. He was able to track their movements on a map and even watched them appear to retreat from an attack on the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv. A researcher in California did a similar job Watch Russian troops invade Ukraine by using a combination of Google Maps and radar images. Remote lockdowns are reportedly preventing Russian troops from using stolen Ukrainian farming equipment

Fry Electronics Team

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