Two men were charged with conspiring to commit computer intrusions. This maximum penalty carries a 10 year sentence.
American citizens Peter Lyman, Daniel Abaev, and Peter Lyman devised an idea where taxi drivers would be paid to hijack the dispatch system so that they could get to the top, rather than waiting in line.
After running the scheme for many years, the two men were arrested in Queens. US Attorney Damien Williams stated, “These defendants now face severe criminal charges for the their alleged cybercrime.”
Williams explained, “For years the defendants’ hacking prevented honest drivers from charging JFK fares in the order they arrived.”
John Jay, Inspector General of the Port Authority, stated that “this complex, internationally coordinated plot allegedly targeted difficult-working taxi drivers trying make a decent existence.”
They were allegedly operating their scheme with assistance from Russian hackers from September 2019 to September 2020.
Usually, taxi drivers must wait at a particular batch before the dispatch system assigns their station. They are often required to wait for several hours before they are assigned to a station.
Leyman, Abayev, and Leyman tried different methods to gain access the transmission system. One was to bribe operators to insert a flash-drive containing malware. malwareThe system can hack Wi-Fi connections to steal tablets. End point hardware.
They appear to have succeeded as at November 2019. Drivers heard that hackers would charge $10 to get ahead of the pack. The hackers even offered a refer a friend scheme where drivers could get their fees waived if other drivers were hired.
The messages between the parties were also revealed, including “I know that the Pentagon is being hacked.”[.]. We cannot penetrate the taxi industry.[?]”, which was sent by Abayev from Russia to a hacker.
Hackers and drivers have also used group chat to communicate. Hackers send “open store” messages when they have access the transmission system. They also provide advice on how you can avoid detection by avoiding certain areas.
The scheme involved the purchase of up to 1,000 taxis each day. The Complex Fraud and Cybercrime Unit of the South American District Attorney’s Office in New York is currently prosecuting the case.
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