Monday 16 May 2022
Moscow – (BBC)
Italian police say pro-Russian hackers tried to disrupt a vote on a Eurovision song contest.
Ukraine won the election because of the overwhelming support of the electorate, and Russia was banned from participating because of its invasion of its western neighbor.
Police in Italy, where the match took place, said the hackers had targeted “Kilnet” before the first final, in which Ukraine was a party, and before the final on Super Saturday.
But Italian cyber security thwarted these attacks.
“Various computer attacks targeting network infrastructure have been reduced during voting and singing performances,” the Italian police said in a statement.
The Ukrainian band “Kalush” won the match with a song by Stefania, which was a resounding success in the audience poll.
The overall score was first, combining the audience’s votes with the scores of the National Arbitration Council.
Meanwhile, Eurovision organizers said there were “irregular voting systems” between referees from the six countries.
In the second semi-final and grand final the decisions of those countries’ jury are replaced by an “alternative consolidated score” which is the score calculated by the organizers based on the results of other countries with similar voting records.
“After the second rehearsal of the second semi-final of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest, in the analysis of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU)’s pan-European voting partner arbitrage, some irregular voting patterns were identified in six results,” the statement said.
Trying to manipulate the votes
“The European Broadcasting Union has the right to remove any suspicious attempts at voting in the Eurovision Song Contest and to remove such votes in accordance with official voting instructions, as to whether such votes will affect the results and / or the outcome of the referendum.”
During the finals, the decisions of the panel of judges from Azerbaijan, Romania and Georgia were read out by Eurovision Executive Supervisor Martin Aster instead of the usual national delegates.
An EU spokesman declined to comment further.
England’s Sam Ryder topped the jury’s scoreboard, but was overtaken by Ukraine when spectator votes were added.
Second place was the UK’s best result since 1998, a year after the country finished last with zero points.
Speaking after returning to the UK on Monday, Ryder told BBC Radio 4’s Today’s show that he was “overwhelmed by the joy of Eurovision” and that it was “a very rewarding experience”.
He told BBC Radio 2: “I felt so much encouragement, support and love from home. Not only at home, but also in the Eurovision community in general, sitting in this square is like being in a square. Church, it’s incredible.”
“I can not explain it, I can not begin with. This is the justice and feeling you get when you are,” he added.
As he said, “But, when you get to that point, it seems to you … you have to believe everything. Believe in the years you sang, enjoy the song and the music and enjoy everything.”
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