Italian Police Foil Pro-Russia Attacks on Eurovision

The Italian authorities mitigated efforts by pro-Russia hackers to disrupt the Eurovision Song Contest over the weekend, it has emerged.

The final of the annual competition took place in Turin on Saturday, with Russia banned this year due to its invasion of Ukraine. The eventual winner was Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra.

During both the live performances and voting, police were forced to block attacks on network infrastructure blamed on the Russian “Killnet” group and its affiliate “Legion,” according to Reuters.

It’s not clear whether these were traditional distributed denial of service (DDoS) attempts or web defacements, but police also monitored the group’s Telegram channels to help identify its location and prevent other “critical events,” the report claimed.

The same group attacked several Italian institutions in the week leading up to the event.

These reportedly included the upper house of parliament, the National Health Institute (ISS) and the Automobile Club d’Italia.

However, no significant damage was reported, and the websites of these organizations were apparently soon back up and running.

As Russia’s kinetic war goes from bad to worse, with Ukrainian soldiers repelling the enemy from the areas surrounding Kharkiv, cyber-attacks continue to disrupt the country.

Over the weekend, the deputy mayor of the western Ukrainian city of Lviv revealed that hackers had stolen unspecified data and published it on multiple Telegram channels after an attack on the city council’s IT infrastructure.

There are also concerns that Sweden and Finland’s decision to join NATO will spur retaliatory cyber campaigns from Russia. However, both countries are well resourced when it comes to cyber, and the Kremlin’s own operatives are already stretched carrying out attacks on Ukraine.

In fact, Finland recently won a joint NATO cyber war-gaming exercise: Locked Shields 2022.

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