Eurovision app servers attacked

Eurovision app servers attacked

In this month’s Eurovision qualifier, which drew 3.7m viewers, there was a suspicious fault with the polling process that led to all votes cast in a certain part of the programming schedule being deleted.

Smartphone software known as ‘Melodifestivalen’ had been introduced for the early stages of the contest this year. Using the app, viewers make ‘heartvotes’ when their country’s artist is performing, and each user can vote in this way a maximum of five times per song.

There were no major issues when the app was originally used in the pre-qualification section of the competition. It is believed to be responsible for a 400 per cent rise in voting levels compared to figures from the previous year.

The final could have seen over 10 million votes made via the app. However, during a performance by Jon Henrik Fjällgren, the show’s head manager, Christel Tholse Willers, observed that the app servers were experiencing an extreme overload. He commented:

“We are investigating an attack. The servers are configured for a very heavy load, but this was abnormal and extreme.”

As the system has proven to be flawed and a number or servers were down in the peak load, it was taken offline. Eurovision hosts informed viewers that any votes that were earlier made with the app would not be taken into account.

Cyber attacks can be detrimental to any organisation employing technology in its day-to-day operations and, in this day and age, digital technology is almost impossible to avoid. The only thing companies can do is to look at their IT security recruitment policy and ask themselves if they are doing everything they can to avoid unnecessary disasters.

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