Two males allegedly hacked JFK’s taxi dispatch system with Russian assist

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Would you pay a couple of dollars to skip an interminably lengthy taxi wait line on the airport? That is primarily what Daniel Abayev and Peter Leyman did, according to the DOJ, besides they centered on taxi drivers. The 2 males, each from Queens, have been arrested for hacking into JFK’s taxi dispatch system with the assistance of Russian nationals. From September 2019 and September 2021, they charged drivers $10 to leap forward of JFK’s taxi queue. Sometimes, these automobiles are despatched out relying on their order of arrival.

“For years, the defendants’ hacking saved trustworthy cab drivers from with the ability to choose up fares at JFK within the order during which they arrived,” U.S. Legal professional Damian Williams mentioned in an announcement. “Now, because of this Workplace’s teamwork with the Port Authority, these defendants are dealing with critical felony fees for his or her alleged cybercrimes.”

In response to the DOJ’s indictment, each males explored quite a lot of methods to interrupt into JFK’s taxi dispatch system, from bribing individuals to insert a malware-filled flash drive into a pc, stealing tablets and logging into the system over Wi-Fi. Abayev at one level messaged one of many Russian hackers: “I do know that the Pentagon is being hacked[.]. So, can’t we hack the taxi trade[?]”

The pair used chat threads to speak with drivers, a few of whom additionally had their $10 charge waived if they may recruit others. Abayev and Leyman have been charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit laptop intrusion, which carry a most 10-year sentence in jail. Their story follows a spate of Russian cyberattacks during the last ten years, together with the notorious hack on Florida’s voter databases in 2016, a decade-long malware scheme to steal millions, and the theft of NATO data in 2014.

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