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Russians Hacked JFK Airport Taxi Dispatch in Line-Skipping Scheme

Russians Hacked JFK Airport Taxi Dispatch in Line-Skipping Scheme

Two Americans were detained for allegedly collaborating with Russian hackers to hack the taxi dispatch system at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in order to advance certain taxis in line in exchange for a $10 fee. ABAYEV and LEYMAN were arrested this morning in Queens, New York, and will be presented this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein.

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From at least September 2019 through September 2021, ABAYEV and LEYMAN, who are U.S. citizens residing in Queens, New York, and Russian nationals residing in Russia (the “Russian Hackers”), engaged in a scheme (the “Hacking Scheme”) to hack the Dispatch System at JFK.

At all relevant times, taxi drivers who sought to pick up a fare at JFK were required to wait in a holding lot at JFK before being dispatched to a specific terminal by the Dispatch System.  Taxi drivers were frequently required to wait several hours in the lot before being dispatched to a terminal and were dispatched in approximately the order in which they arrived at the holding lot.


Beginning in 2019, ABAYEV and LEYMAN explored and attempted various mechanisms to access the Dispatch System, including bribing someone to insert a flash drive containing malware into computers connected to the Dispatch System, obtaining unauthorized access to the Dispatch System via a Wi-Fi connection, and stealing computer tablets connected to the Dispatch System.

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The Hacking Scheme also used large group chat threads in order to communicate with taxi drivers.  For example, when the Hacking Scheme had access to the Dispatch System for the day, a member of the Hacking Scheme would message the group chat threads, “Shop open.”

ABAYEV and LEYMAN’s scheme resulted in large numbers of taxi drivers skipping the taxi line. Over the course of the scheme, they enabled as many as 1,000 fraudulently expedited taxi trips a day. ABAYEV, 48, and LEYMAN, 48, both of Queens, New York, are each charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion.  The charges carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.



Top 10 Largest Airports in the World by Size

Top 10 Largest Airports in the World by Size

When it comes to the world’s busiest and largest airports, size matters—not just in terms of the area they cover, but also in the volume of passengers they handle and the number of flights they accommodate.

As air travel continues to grow, airports around the globe are expanding and upgrading to meet increasing demand.

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In 2024, several airports stand out for their impressive size and capacity. This article takes a closer look at these massive aviation hubs, highlighting their key features and what makes them the largest airports in the world today.

CountryAirport Area (sq km)
Saudi ArabiaKing Fahd International Airport776
United StatesDenver International Airport135
MalaysiaKuala Lumpur International Airport100
TurkeyIstanbul Airport76
ChinaBeijing Daxing International Airport46
EgyptCairo International Airport36
ThailandSuvarnabhumi Airport32
SpainAdolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport30
CanadaEdmonton International Airport (YEG)28
NetherlandsAmsterdam Airport Schiphol27
AustraliaBrisbane International Airport27
GermanyFrankfurt Airport23
IndiaRajiv Gandhi International Airport22

King Fahd International Airport, Saudi Arabia – Spanning a staggering 776 square kilometers, King Fahd International Airport is the largest airport in the world by area. Its vast expanse reflects its crucial role as a major hub in the Middle East.


Denver International Airport, United States – Covering 135 square kilometers, Denver International Airport ranks second in size. Known for its distinctive peaked roof and extensive facilities, it serves as a major gateway in North America.

Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Malaysia – With an area of 100 square kilometers, Kuala Lumpur International Airport is a key international hub in Southeast Asia, offering extensive services and connectivity.

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Istanbul Airport, Turkey – Istanbul Airport covers 76 square kilometers. This relatively new airport has quickly become one of the largest and busiest, positioning itself as a central point for travel between Europe and Asia.

Beijing Daxing International Airport, China – Beijing Daxing International Airport, with 46 square kilometers, is one of the newest major airports, featuring an impressive design and extensive facilities to handle growing passenger traffic.

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