Moscow traffic chaos caused by ride-hailing app hack

Posted:
in General Discussion
Hackers caused disruption in Moscow on September 1st, with mass orders of rides via the YandexTaxi app creating gridlock in a high-traffic area of the Russian capital.




On Thursday, visitors heading to the Kutuzovsky Prospect in Russia encountered a traffic jam. While not normally out of the ordinary for the second most congested city in the world, the incident was actually caused by hackers misusing a ride-hailing app.

Hackers ordered dozens of rides using the Yandex Taxi hailing app, reports Vice, with the army of yellow cars ordered to pick up rides from one location, all at the same time. The order resulted in a traffic jam that slowed other traffic to a halt.

A spokesperson for Yandex confirmed there was "an attempt by attackers to disrupt the service." It is claimed that "several dozen drivers received bulk orders to the Fili district of Moscow," a main thoroughfare outside the city center.

The spokesperson added that the jam was cleared "in less than an hour," after the app's security teams "stopped the attempts of artificial congestion of cars and improved the algorithm for detecting and preventing such attacks to prevent similar incidents in the future."

While there has not been any official confirmation for the group behind the attack, hacktivist group Anonymous claimed via Twitter that it worked with a hacktivist group known as the IT Army of Ukraine.

While an inconvenience to drivers in the city for a relatively brief period of time, it does at least prove the real-world possibilities for seemingly inconsequential apps to be abused for potentially malevolent reasons that could impact everyday life.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 8
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,966member
    I’m sure the people of Ukraine are deeply concerned by the ‘inconveniences’ experienced by the people in Moscow
    napoleon_phoneapartkillroyboxcatchertbornotravnorodomthtwatto_cobraFidonet127MrBunsidebeowulfschmidt
  • Reply 2 of 8
    mac_dogmac_dog Posts: 1,076member
    This is so encouraging. 
    killroytbornotwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 8
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,865member
    When fighting against evil every act, no matter how trivial it may seem, is good. We all must do what we can.
    Oferkillroyboxcatchertbornotwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 8
    mpantonempantone Posts: 2,105member
    It is important to acknowledge that "the bad guys" (whoever they may be) could pull similar pranks in Baghdad, Kinshasa, London, New Delhi, New York, Paris, Rome, Seoul, Shanghai, Taipei, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, wherever regardless if it is retaliation for this incident or for other unrelated reasons.

    It is highly unlikely that this will be the last time something like this happens. Remember that the primary goal of terrorism is to promote terror.

    Just a dash of reality for some people here...
    edited September 2022 watto_cobraFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 5 of 8
    mpantone said:
    It is important to acknowledge that "the bad guys" (whoever they may be) could pull similar pranks..

    Just a dash of reality for some people here...
    Assuming those cities are serviced by companies with similarly-poor cybersecurity.

    One takeaway from the last 6-months is that the world was grossly overestimating a certain country’s capabilities.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 8
    mpantonempantone Posts: 2,105member
    mpantone said:
    It is important to acknowledge that "the bad guys" (whoever they may be) could pull similar pranks..

    Just a dash of reality for some people here...
    Assuming those cities are serviced by companies with similarly-poor cybersecurity.

    One takeaway from the last 6-months is that the world was grossly overestimating a certain country’s capabilities.
    The free world provides plenty of opportunity for new companies with questionable cybersecurity to gain popularity. Look at Zoom in the earliest days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    And even if the major players today in those cities are mostly companies who seem to know what they're doing, there's always a chance someone will unintentionally cock something up and create a vulnerability tomorrow that didn't exist yesterday.

    It's not like the government can decree: "Hey, only smart and good people are allowed to run online services. Okay?"
    edited September 2022 watto_cobraFileMakerFellerbeowulfschmidt
  • Reply 7 of 8
    macguimacgui Posts: 2,389member
    So, it sounds like morning weekday commute traffic on 5th Ave in NY.

    On a visit years back, walking by a huge hotel on 5th, there was a sea of yellow that I could never have imagined. I was stunned. Seeing a car that wasn't a cab was like finding dead pixels on a display.

    I was all Hey, Dorothy, hey Toto... But traffic was flowing. Sort of.
    watto_cobraMrBunside
  • Reply 8 of 8
    While an inconvenience to drivers in the city for a relatively brief period of time, it does at least prove the real-world possibilities for seemingly inconsequential apps to be abused for potentially malevolent reasons that could impact everyday life. 
    Or, as William Gibson so aptly put it, "The street finds its own use for things." There needs to be more effort put into imagining possible abuses and defining potential counter-measures before bringing something to market - or trying to regulate things.
Sign In or Register to comment.