Italian police have thwarted pro-Russian hackers attempts to disrupt voting for the Eurovision Song Contest.
Police in Italy, where this year’s contest was staged, said the Killnet hacker group targeted the first semi-final - in which Ukraine performed - as well as Saturday’s grand final.
But they said their cybersecurity division blocked the attacks.
“Various computer attacks of a DDOS [distributed denial-of-service] nature aimed at network infrastructures during voting operations and singing performances were mitigated,” a police statement said.
The police also gathered information from the pro-Russian group’s Telegram channels to prevent other critical events, and identified the geographic location of the attacks.
Meanwhile, Eurovision organiser, the European Broadcasting Union’s (EBU), has said there were “certain irregular voting patterns” in the votes from six countries.
As a result, jury scores from the six countries in the second semi-final and grand final were replaced with “a substitute aggregated result” - a score calculated by organisers, based on the results of other countries with similar voting records.
“In the analysis of jury voting by the European Broadcasting Union’s (EBU) pan-European voting partner after the Second Dress Rehearsal of the Second Semi-Final of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest, certain irregular voting patterns were identified in the results of six countries,” an EBU statement said.
“The EBU takes any suspected attempts to manipulate the voting at the Eurovision Song Contest extremely seriously and has the right to remove such votes in accordance with the Official Voting Instructions, irrespective of whether or not such votes are likely to influence the results and/or outcome of the voting.”
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