An unknown party managed to trick the systems of the largest taxi company in Russia and create huge traffic jams in one of the important transportation arteries of the Russian capital. Biandex says: we have improved the algorithm to prevent similar cases in the future
The troll? Revenge for what is happening in Ukraine? It is not clear, but what is clear is that someone sent a huge number of taxis to the same address in Moscow, which created huge traffic jams and actually blocked one of the main roads in the Russian capital. From here, the versions are a bit different.
Dozens or hundreds of taxis to the same address
An unknown number of dozens or hundreds of taxi drivers of Yango, the taxi company of the Russian technology giant Yandex, received a simultaneous invitation yesterday (Thursday) to pick up passengers in Moscow. What these drivers didn’t know is that all these orders are for the same particular point on Kutuzovsky Prospekt, one of the most famous boulevards in Moscow, and one of its most important transportation arteries, which includes between 8 and 10 lanes leading to the city center. As a result of the arrival of so many taxis in such a short period of time, heavy traffic congestion was created, which caused, according to some reports, delays ranging from 40 minutes to three hours.
‼️#Moscow had a stressful day yesterday. The largest taxi service in Russia ‘Yandex Taxi’ was hacked by the #Anonymous collective. A traffic jam took place in the center of Moscow when dozens of taxi were sent by the hackers to the address on Kutuzovsky Prospekt. #OpRussia pic.twitter.com/6fp1hp0f7r
— Anonymous TV 🇺🇦 (@YourAnonTV) September 2, 2022
Twitter account of supporters of Ukraine, who was among the first to report what was happening, claimed that the Yandex Taxi service was “hacked” by the Anonymous group. According to the same account, the “hacking” was done as part of OpRussia – cyber attacks carried out by individuals and groups against Russia since it started the war in Ukraine.
However, it is important to emphasize that it is not yet known with certainty whether a real “hacking” took place here, in the sense of taking over the company’s accounts or internal systems. It is not impossible that there was simply an exploitation of a weakness in the Russian company’s booking system, which allowed a massive booking of taxis – without monitoring. In any case, no group has yet accepted responsibility for the act or presented evidence of an actual hack.
Yandex: We have improved the algorithm to prevent similar cases in the future
Miandex provided the following response to Gigatime: “On the morning of September 1, Yandex Taxi encountered an attempt by hackers to disrupt the service, when several dozen drivers received orders to the Philly district of Moscow (There is also Kutuzovsky Prospect Avenue, Ya.A.). Yandex Taxi’s security service immediately stopped attempts to create artificial car traffic.
The drivers spent about 40 minutes in a traffic jam caused by the fake orders, after which the taxis left the congestion zone and returned to accepting orders as usual. The algorithm for detecting and preventing attacks of this type has already been improved, to prevent similar cases in the future.”
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