Dina Temple, John Abbott, Milledgeville discussed on Marketplace Tech with Molly Wood


Modern agriculture these days relies on all kinds of advanced technology. Tractors, combines, and other farm equipment have basically become computers on wheels. They can be Bluetooth enabled GPS guided and Internet connected. Some of these precision ag solutions help with strategic spraying or planting crops. They're even self-driving tractors these days. All this tech can be extremely useful for a farmers and gathering data and monitoring what's happening in their fields. But as Dina temple raston of the click here podcast explains, this smart technology also makes these tools incredibly vulnerable to hackers. John Abbott lives and works on a farm in milledgeville, Georgia, population 17,000. It's about two hours southeast of Atlanta, and we visited him to talk about a farm staple. The tractor. Growing up, I was used to riding the older tractors at really the only electrical wiring on it was from the battery to the starter and headlights. But that's not how tractors are now. Now, the trackers can basically control themselves, you're just up there in case something malfunctions. Or in case your tractor gets hacked by someone like this guy who goes by the name sick codes. I'm sick codes are my white hat hacker from Australia, leaving Asia and I have for a living. What had hackers hunt for vulnerabilities inside networks. And then they report them to companies or government agencies so they can be fixed before the bad guys find them. That's what sip codes did recently with a John Deere tractor. He paid $7000 for one of the tractors touch screens, and then broke into it and found a way to control it. It is a important part of infrastructure, but it's also important to test it. And he showed off his handiwork at a big hacker's conference in Vegas. But in that case, he cracked into only one tractor. The doomsday scenario involves someone hacking into a bunch of them. All at once, during harvest time. Jenny easterly is the director of the cybersecurity and infrastructure security agency, or cisa. And part of cis job is to protect critical infrastructure. Anything from power plants to K through 12 schools, small hospitals, water facilities, and it turns out tractors. Is a tractor critical infrastructure. Yeah, John, you're part of critical manufacturing. Well, if all the tractors went down at once, it could be a disaster. Even the farmer we met earlier, John Abbott says he now sees everything as vulnerable. The combine, the grain bins, sprinklers that keep crops growing. Our water sprinklers and darned our sprinklers on. That, you know, you could ruin everything that we've got. Or you make it dive or keeping them off. Abbott says this new high-tech connected farm is giving him a whole bunch of new things he has to worry about. That was Dina temple raston. I'm Kimberly Adams, and that's marketplace tech. This is 8 p.m. I spent the summer in one of the most glamorous places in the world. Miami. It's also one of the scariest because beneath the surface of glittering beaches and electric nightlife, trouble is brewing, as rising seas are coming for Miami..

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