Eurovision 2022: Russian hackers are 'threatening to stop a Ukraine win'

Eurovision 2022: Russian hackers are 'threatening to stop a Ukraine win'
Eurovision: Ukraine's lead singer on making music amid the horrors of war

The Eurovision Song Contest, the music competition which always tries and fails to be non-political, could be disrupted by Russian hackers keen to stop bookies’ favourite Ukraine from winning.

Forbesreports a pro-Putin group known as Killnet issued a threat in a Telegram message ahead of the contest in Italy on Saturday night, warning it could “send 10 billion requests” to the contest’s online voting system and “add votes to some other country”.

Killnet has previously taken aim at the UK’s National Health Service, saying it would turn off ventilators in hospitals if one of their alleged members isn’t released.

The hackers have also claimed to have attacked the system earlier this week during the live semi-finals, writing “you can’t vote online” and suggesting “perhaps our DDOS [Distributed Denial of Service] attack is to blame for everything”.

For those unfamiliar, a DDOS attack basically floods a server with a load of internet traffic in order to take it offline. Not fun.

Though in the same message, Killnet appeared to back down from the threats issued just sentences before, saying “it does not make sense to influence the vote online” and that it’s “not worth the time”.

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Okay… Whether they’ll actually Putin the effort (sorry), we don’t know.

Though it seems Eurovision themselves are prepared, with a spokesperson for the competition in Turin telling the Daily Mail: “Every year the Eurovision Song Contest voting system has a wide range of security measures in place to protect the audience participation from outside influences.

“This year is no different.”

While the song Stefania by Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra is set to wow audiences this weekend, Russia will not take part after it was banned from the contest following the country’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.

Kalush Orchestra - Stefania - LIVE - Ukraine 🇺🇦 - First Semi-Final - Eurovision 2022www.youtube.com

In a statement issued in February, competition organisers the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) said the move “reflects concern that, in light of the unprecedented crisis in Ukraine, the inclusion of a Russian entry in this year’s Contest would bring the competition into disrepute.

“The EBU is an apolitical member organization of broadcasters committed to upholding the values of public service.

“We remain dedicated to protecting the values of a cultural competition which promotes international exchange and understanding, brings audiences together, celebrates diversity through music and unites Europe on one stage.”

While Ukraine tops the odds for lifting the trophy this year, they face tough competition from Sweden’s Hold Me Closer by Cornelia Jakob and Space Man by the UK’s Sam Ryder.

Yes, really.

We may actually have a chance of winning it this year, and even if we don’t, we’d certainly do better than last year’s Embers by James Newman (brother of Love Me Again singer John), which scored the dreaded “nul points”.

Coverage of the European Song Contest in the UK gets underway at 8pm on BBC One.

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