Russian hackers attack Eurovision Song Contest

Pro-Russian hackers have tried to torpedo the Eurovision Song Contest. During the first semi-final last Tuesday and the final on Saturday, they carried out several cyber attacks. The Italian police managed to repel the attacks.

This is reported by various media, including the Italian news agency ANSA and its American counterpart Reuters.

Italian police manage to fend off DDoS attacks

The Russian hacker group Killnet and its affiliated group Legion tried to thwart the Eurovision Song Contest in Turin with cyber attacks during the performances and voting in the first semifinal and final. The Italian police managed to repel these attacks in time. By monitoring pro-Russian groups on Telegram, the police already had a dark brown suspicion that Russian hackers were trying to strike.

The Italian police explained to ANSA that the cybercrime team was able to fend off several DDoS attacks on the network infrastructures of the Eurovision Song Contest organization. Research has shown that a large number of ‘zombies’ were used for this purpose. These are infected computers that are part of a botnet, a worldwide network of infected devices that are centrally controlled by an administrator or bot master. Further investigation revealed that these ‘zombies’ were controlled by Russia.

The cybercrime team monitored more than a thousand hours during the Eurovision Song Contest. More than a hundred specialists were involved. They monitored the organization’s network and messages from various social media.

Hackers claim cyber attacks on Italian institutions

Cybersecurity experts suspect Killnet and Legion are responsible for the cyberattacks. On Wednesday, May 11, the former hacker collective claimed to have attacked the websites of multiple Italian institutions, including the Senate, the Automobile Club d’Italia drivers’ association and the national health institute ISS.

Elisabetta Castellati, the president of the Senato della Repubblica, confirmed the attack on Twitter on Wednesday. The external network of the Senate was not damaged. “Thanks to the technicians for their immediate intervention. These are serious incidents that should not be underestimated. We will remain on our guard,” said the chairman.

Hundreds of cyber attacks carried out since war broke out

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, cyber-attacks have been taking place between these countries. And the number is still growing, according to security researchers at Google’s Threat Analysis Group (TAG). Lately, hackers mainly run spam and phishing campaigns. For example, they try to obtain the usernames and passwords of Eastern European politicians, government officials, journalists and NGOs.

Microsoft cybersecurity experts say hundreds of cyberattacks have been carried out since the war broke out. The hackers also spread disinformation in the hope that confidence in the Ukrainian government would decline. Finally, the US hardware and software company saw “limited espionage activities” involving NATO member states.

EU holds Russia accountable for cyber-attacks

The European Union recently accused the Kremlin of carrying out “malicious cyber activities” against Ukraine. The attack on the KA-SAT satellite network in particular caused a lot of bad blood in the European Council. Businesses and citizens in Ukraine and neighbouring EU Member States were affected by this.

“This unacceptable cyberattack is yet another example of Russia’s continuing pattern of irresponsible behaviour in cyberspace, which was also an integral part of the illegal and unjustified invasion of Ukraine,” said the body representing all heads of government and heads of state of member states. .

The EU is considering new sanctions against Russia to “prevent, deter, deter and address malicious behaviour in cyberspace”.

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