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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Benjamin Lynch

Hackers gridlock Moscow by sending group of taxis to same location in 'anti-Putin protest'

Suspected anti-Vladimir Putin hackers have brought part of Moscow to a 'standstill' by sending hundreds of taxis to the same location.

The rebellious cyber-jokers targeted the Yandex Taxi app, similar to Uber, and sent the taxis to the same location on Kutuzovsky Prospekt in the Russian capital.

Yandex Taxi said in a statement to Forbes: "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."

Reports say the key Kutuzovsky Prospekt road is not usually jammed, but drivers had to spend 40 minutes in the traffic as cars built up outside the Hotel Ukraine.

Nobody has claimed responsibility, but some believe it may be an anti-Putin protest (Twitter)

Claiming they have now resolved the issue that led to the easy hack, they added: "Drivers still spent about 40 minutes in traffic jams due to fake orders. The issue of compensation will be resolved in the near future."

Nobody has yet come forward to take responsibility for the breach, though it comes amid the outrage towards Putin's war in Ukraine in which thousands of people have been killed, millions displaced and large parts of Ukrainian cities destroyed.

Yandex say they have resolved the issue that led to the hack (Twitter)

Russia is known for its cyber-attacks on other nations, but when war escalated to the full-scale invasion by Putin's troops in February, Ukrainian officials called on hackers to help them.

Ukraine's digital minister Mykhailo Fedorov, known as the state's "digital general", called on an army of IT hackers to help Ukraine fight Russia online.

Calling it the "First World Cyber War," Fedrovo released a promotional video in May this year, calling on yet more hackers to help after claiming 270,000 had already joined.

Taxi drivers were met with a notification telling them all to go to the same location (Twitter)

He said on Twitter : "The First World Cyber War. The first IT Army in the world. 270K of angry IT-warriors of [the] cyber frontline. Rutube shutdown. AI tech & identification of war criminals. And many more cases to disclose after the victory. You are free to join, by the way."

Creating the 'IT Army of Ukraine,' the goal of the group is to "spread the truth about the war."

They claim to attack around 200 websites per week and say they managed to shut down a number of Russian government websites in the first days of the war.

Ukraine is fighting a war in the air and on land, but also online (Twitter)

Fedorov told Grid: "As far as we are concerned, as long as there is internet in Russia, we have the opportunity to get through to people. To directly tell ordinary Russians what is actually happening."

In what is described as a "massive attack on Ukraine," six different groups of Russian hackers are reported to have hit the country with 430 separate cyber attacks.

Fedorov added: "They’ve been hitting us for years, even before this invasion. Last year, if you talk about cyberattacks, Ukraine was among the world’s top targets.

"Most of the cyberattacks are carried out to coincide with missile strikes and ground assaults by Russian forces on this or that particular target."

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