The Italian police have thwarted hacking attacks by pro-Russian groups during the May 10 semifinal and the May 14 final of the Eurovision Song Contest in Turin, authorities say.
Police said on May 15 that during voting operations and contestants’ performances, police had mitigated several cyberattacks on network infrastructure by the hacker group Killnet and its affiliate, Legion.
Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra won the Eurovision Song Contest in the early hours of May 15, with their entry Stefania.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, many Western governments have raised alert levels in anticipation of possible cyberattacks on IT systems and infrastructure.
Last week, pro-Russian hackers targeted the websites of several Italian institutions, including the Defense Ministry and the Senate.
The attacks had reportedly not compromised infrastructure but hindered access to several websites, including the National Institute of Health.
Italian media said the pro-Kremlin group Killnet claimed the cyberattack.
In April, Killnet targeted Romanian government websites, citing Romania’s support for Ukraine in the war, according to the country’s national cybersecurity agency.
Earlier, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson joined a chorus of tributes for Ukraine victory, calling it a “reflection” not just of talent, but “unwavering support” for Ukraine’s “fight for freedom.”
“Congratulations to Ukraine for winning the Eurovision Song Contest 2022,” Johnson tweeted on May 15. “It is a clear reflection of not just your talent, but of the unwavering support for your fight for freedom.”
Ukrainian folk-rap group Kalush Orchestra won in the early hours of May 15, followed by Britain’s Sam Ryder in second place.
Receiving the trophy, Kalush Orchestra said: “Thank you for supporting Ukraine. This victory is for every Ukrainian. Slava Ukrayini!” (Glory to Ukraine!).
Russia was excluded this year from competing after its February 24 invasion of Ukraine, a move organizers said was meant to keep politics out of a contest that promotes diversity and friendship among nations.