Russia has been targeted by several hacker groups since the invasion of Ukraine. This week, the latest attack aimed at a Russian taxi firm, causing a two-hour long traffic jam that left Moscow in the throes of vehicular congestion.
Perhaps hinting at the motivations behind the attack, the Yandex Taxi app was hacked and requested every taxi available in the area to gather outside the Hotel Ukraine, located on Kutuzov Prospect, a major road in Moscow. What followed was an intense traffic jam with cab drivers trying desperately to escape the zone, only contributing to the congestion as a result.
The infamous hacker group Anonymous has claimed that the Yandex Taxi app hack is part of their ‘OpRussia’ cyber campaign. However, their involvement is currently unconfirmed. The Yandex Taxi firm is an arm of Yandex, widely considered a ‘Russian Google’ and the fifth most used search engine. Yandex Taxis are currently operating in more than 1000 cities around the world, with a focus on developing AI drivers.
A Yandex Taxi spokesperson had this to say about the hack: “The security service promptly stopped attempts to artificially accumulate cars. Drivers spent about 40 minutes in traffic due to fake orders. The issue of compensation will be resolved in the very near future”. They added that their own programs for recognizing hacks and false requests have been improved since the attack.
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