Italian police thwart pro-Russian hacker attacks during Eurovision

Besides music, politics played a starring role during the 2022 Eurovision. Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy invited people to vote for the Kalush Orchestra through a video message, but pro-Russian hackers attempted to prevent the group from winning. [EPA-EFE/ALESSANDRO DI MARCO]

The authorities averted several cyber attacks by pro-Russia groups of hackers, Killnet and Legion, during the Eurovision Song Contest in Turin, the police reported on Sunday.

Besides music, politics played a starring role during the 2022 Eurovision. Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy invited people to vote for the Kalush Orchestra through a video message, but pro-Russian hackers attempted to prevent the group from winning.

Italian authorities prevented attempts from hackers from infiltrating during the semi-final on Tuesday (10 May) and during the final on Saturday (14 May).

With Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine, Italy has raised the level of attention on the cyber domain, fearing possible attacks on IT infrastructures.

During the Eurovision in Turin, “a 24-hour monitoring room was set up to prevent computer intrusions,” the police reported. Experts from the Postal Police department who counter cyber-crime neutralised the attacks.

The attacks consisted mainly of DDoS targeting the network infrastructure during the voting operations and the singing performances. Millions of gigabytes of data have been examined and the attacks “mitigated and pushed back,” reported a police communication.

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