Using a ride-hailing app, hackers triggered a large traffic bottleneck in Moscow.

They ordered dozens of cabs to the same address at the same time.

After using the Russian ride-hailing service Yandex Taxi to send dozens of taxis to the same spot at the same time, hackers triggered a significant traffic bottleneck in Moscow (via Vice). The attack occurred on September 1st, and traffic headed towards Kutuzovsky Prospect, an already congested avenue, came to a halt.


On Thursday, a video of taxi lines presumably trying to get to the same place went viral on Twitter and Reddit. While Moscow is known for its heavy traffic — it was ranked second in the globe as the most congested city last year — this occurrence was unrelated to the capital city’s usual traffic patterns.

“On September 1, Yandex. Taxi encountered an effort by cybercriminals to disrupt the service – several hundred drivers received mass orders to the Fili region,” Yandex spokesperson Polina Pestova told The Verge. The ride-hailing service, which is owned by Russian internet giant Yandex, also stated that the traffic jam lasted less than an hour and that its “system for identifying and combating such attacks has already been modified to prevent similar situations in the future.”

Yandex has yet to identify who was responsible for the attack, but the hacktivist group Anonymous claimed credit on Twitter. It claims to have collaborated with the IT Army of Ukraine, a loosely organized organization of hacktivists founded by Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov when Russia initially invaded Ukraine. Anonymous proclaimed a “cyber war” against Russia earlier this year, and later claimed to have hijacked Russian TV channels with footage of the “illegal” conflict. As part of an ongoing cyber campaign against Russia, hacktivists have exposed troves of data and terabytes of emails belonging to the country’s government agencies and large enterprises.

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