Unidentified hackers brought Moscow traffic to a halt after sending hundreds of taxis to the same pickup point within the Russian capital city, Radar has learned.
The shocking incident took place on Thursday when the group of hackers targeted Yandex Taxi – a Russian app similar to Uber and Lyft – and ordered hundreds of drivers to the same Moscow location.
“On the morning of September 1, Yandex Taxi encountered an attempt by attackers to disrupt the service — several dozen drivers received bulk orders to the Fili region,” the company said in a statement confirming the incident.
Yandex Taxi’s security department “immediately stopped attempts to artificially” request a taxi, but it was too late to prevent the overwhelming traffic from turning into a gridlock.
“Drivers still spent about 40 minutes in traffic jams due to fake orders,” the company added. “The issue of compensation will be resolved in the near future.”
Although the incident took place Thursday morning, nobody took responsibility for the hack in the hours and days following the traffic jams – although some Russians believe it was an attempt at cyber warfare as a result of Vladimir Putin's ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine's digital minister and one of President Volodymyr Zelensky's main advisors regarding technology, recently created an “IT Army” made up of Ukrainian hackers to help the country fight their invaders via the cyber landscape.
In the weeks following Fedorov’s creation of the IT Army, dozens of Russian websites have reportedly been taken offline, Russian state media has been targeted, and classified Russian information has been leaked online.
As RadarOnline.com previously reported, the traffic jam also came less than one week after hundreds of Russian supercar drivers were pulled over and dragged from their vehicles during a “Rich and Successful” rally on Sunday.
The rally, which took place in the very same streets and highways brought to gridlock, saw upwards of 170 supercar drivers detained, arrested, and potentially sent off to Ukraine as punishment during a crackdown against extravagant and unnecessary displays of wealth.
Mikhail Dzhabarov, a Russian senator and outspoken Putin supporter, suggested the detained men “should be called to help the army” as “punishment” for “parading their Western cars” at the time.