Russia: Hackers apparently trigger huge traffic jams in Moscow with a taxi app

Traffic jams are actually part of everyday life for Moscow drivers. Last Thursday, however, there was an unusual accumulation of cars on Moscow’s major avenue, Kutuzov Prospect. A video shows yellow and yellow-white taxis standing in long queues on the street in the direction of the Arc de Triomphe, apparently trying to reach the same destination – the reason was apparently a hack of a taxi app.

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Sometimes probably more than two hours traffic jam

Kutuzov Prospect is one of the main streets in Moscow and leads from the city center towards the west out of the city. It is known for its magnificent buildings in the style of socialist classicism – including the »Hotel Ukraine«, one of the seven high-rise buildings that the Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin had built in the city.

Forbes Russia reported that people were sometimes stuck in traffic for more than two hours because of the fake orders. Yandex, on the other hand, told the Tass agency that drivers only spent about 40 minutes in traffic jams. According to Yandex, an algorithm should actually recognize fake orders and ensure that they are not executed. This has now been improved to prevent such incidents in the future, as the group announced.

How exactly the attack on the Yandex taxi app worked technically and who is behind the hack is unclear. However, an account belonging to the Anonymous collective claimed to the specialist portal Hackread 7022, that Anonymous hackers are said to be responsible for the attack. They would have cooperated with the well-known pro-Ukrainian group »IT Army of Ukraine«.

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