The Eurovision Song Contest (Eurovision), a televised singing competition with participants from Europe and around the globe, was targeted by cyberattacks from pro-Russia group Killnet, according to Italian police.
The cyberattacks targeted two semi-final rounds of the competition, as well as the final on May 10. According to the Italian police, hackers from the groups Killnet and its affiliate Legion targeted Eurovision with distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.
The Italian police reported neutralizing and repelling the cyberattacks, posting a video of their Eurovision event security operations center (SOC) featuring social media monitoring and video surveillance technology.
Killnet claimed they were not responsible for the attack in a post on their Telegram channel, but then announced that they had disabled the website of the Italian state police and declared “war” on the agency, as well as ten countries. In a video released by the hacker group, they say those countries include the U.S., Germany, the U.K., Ukraine, Poland, Latvia, Italy, Romania, Lithuania and Estonia.
The Italian police department’s website remains inaccessible as of May 20. On May 11, Killnet executed cyberattacks targeting Italian state institutions, including the Senate, the National Health Institute and the upper house of Parliament, according to Reuters.
In a tweet from President of the Italian Senate Maria Elisabetta Casellati, she reported that the cyberattacks on the Senate caused no damage, saying they involved the external network of the institution.
The U.S. government has taken steps to alert organizations of elevated threat levels since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began.