Russian group suspected: police thwart hacker attack on ESC

A suspected Russian group
Police thwart hacker attack on ESC

Already in the semi-finals of the Eurovision Song Contest, pirate attacks led to irregularities in the jury’s vote. Italian police were able to prevent further attacks in the final. Specialists suspect a group of Russian hackers.

Italian police say they prevented hacker attacks during the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) final in Turin. The hackers tried to break into the systems during the opening night on Tuesday and during the finale from Saturday to Sunday, Turin police said. Specialists in the field of cybercrime, who were assigned to the ESC, attributed the attacks to the Russian hacker group “Killnet”. There had been rumors before that Russian cybercriminals wanted to disrupt the politically charged Grand Prix with attacks. Russia was excluded from the 66th edition of the ESC this year due to the war of aggression against Ukraine.

The organizers are also investigating signs of possible manipulation during the second semi-final. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) announced overnight that irregularities had been found during the jury’s vote in six countries. Country names were initially not mentioned. Instead, an average value was formed in the countries concerned from the points of other countries which had voted in the same way. Details were not given. “The EBU takes all alleged attempts to rig the vote in the Eurovision Song Contest very seriously,” she said in a statement. The Broadcasting Union has the right to remove affected voices – even if they affect the output.

Sunday evening, Ukraine won a clear victory with the Kalush Orchestra (“Stefania”) ahead of Great Britain (Sam Ryder with “Space Man”) and Spain (Chanel with “SloMo”). Germany with Malik Harris (“Rockstars”) finished 25th and came last.

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