Eurovision gears up for cyberwarfare attack from pro-Russian hackers

Pro-Russian hackers could ruin next week’s Eurovision song contest in Liverpool.

Experts fear a repeat of last year’s event in Turin when Italian cops had to thwart efforts by the Killnet group, which supports the Kremlin, to hack voting systems and wreck broadcasts.

But security sources believe spectators at the show – which will see Mae Muller represent the UK on May 13 – are not the target.

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The source added: “While it’s possible to be confident that concertgoers will be safe, the cyber side is far more unpredictable.”

A senior Whitehall official told The Times: "The biggest worry is that the voting system is hacked like it was last year."

The Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Liverpool between May 9 and May 13 after it was decided it was not safe to stage it in Ukraine.

The contest will witness reinforced cyber-defences by the NCSC experts in combination with the Home Office and the Department for Science.

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The fear comes after Italian police managed to thwart attacks by pro-Russian hackers at the competition in Turin, Italy, especially during performances of the Kalush Orchestra, which represented Ukraine and won last year's Eurovision.

The semi-final and final of the song contest were targeted by Killnet.

It is not yet known if British security agencies are acting upon specific intelligence regarding a potential Russian hacker attack – and the Kremlin has always denied engaging in cyberwarfare against Western states.

A successful hacking attack at the contest in 2019 in Israel saw the national broadcaster's online stream being replaced with footage of explosions, which the Israeli government blamed on Hamas.

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