Pro-Russian cybercriminals attempted to attack a number of targets during the recent Eurovision Song Contest 2022, including the show itself, organizers have confirmed.
Italian police said its cybersecurity department blocked a number of attacks against national network infrastructure during both Saturday's Eurovision grand final and two earlier semi-finals.
Won by Ukraine's Kalush Orchestra in what was widely seen as a declaration of anti-war sentiment across the continent, the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest was held in Turin after Italy's Maneskin won in 2021.
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Eurovision 2022 DDoS
Reports from the Italian police cybersecurity department claim that several attacks against Italian network infrastructure were carried out by two pro-Russian groups, including a DDoS attack on the event itself.
The attacks came from the notorious "Killnet" hacker group and its affiliate "Legion", police said, but offered little detail about the exact process involved.
"In collaboration with ICT Rai and Eurovision TV, various computer attacks of a DDoS nature aimed at network infrastructures during voting operations and singing performances were mitigated," a statement from Italian authorities said.
It added that the police had been monitoring Telegram chats purported to be from the group in which attacks against Eurovision were discussed.
Killnet hit the headlines earlier this year after claiming to be behind an attack that saw servers at Anonymous taken offline. That attack followed a pledge by Anonymous to leak details of troop movements and other military information following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
In a post on its Telegram channel, Killnet hit back against the police's claims, saying it was not behind the attack.
"According to foreign media, Killnet attacked Eurovision and they were stopped by the Italian police. So, Killnet did not attack Eurovision," the group wrote.
The group went on to say that in retaliation for the accusation, it would now "declare war" on ten unspecified countries as well as the Italian police.
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Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.