Italian Police have blocked an effort to sabotage Eurovision Song Contest voting, carried out by pro-Russian hackers, during last week’s festivities.
The alleged attempts, orchestrated by the Killnet hacker group, targeted both Thursday’s semi-final – featuring Ukraine – and the grand final on Saturday night, won by Ukraine.
Ukraine were declared champions after overwhelming support in the public vote. Russia were not allowed to compete, as a result of their invasion of Ukraine earlier this year.
Italian police said their cybersecurity division blocked the attacks. In a statement, they announced: “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.
Eurovision organisers have also revealed they found “irregular voting patterns” from the official juries for six different countries. These jury scores were not included, and replaced with “a substitute aggregated result” 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,” a Eurovision statement said.
The identity of the countries was not revealed, however during Sunday’s finals, the jury scores from Azerbaijan, Romania and Georgia were read by Eurovision’s executive supervisor Martin Österdahl, rather than the national representatives.
“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.”