CloudFlare security expert reveals attempted cyber attack made on Eurovision in 2012

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The boss of internet security company Cloudflare has revealed that the voting platform for Eurovision came under attack in 2012. Speaking to BBC News, company founder Matthew Prince revealed that the company’s previous experience securing the websites of Turkish escorts helped protect Eurovision.

The story started in 2012, when the company discovered that around 150 Turkish escorts had signed up to Cloudflare after their websites had come under attack from a conservative group that “strongly disapproved of their activities”.

Later that year, another of Cloudflare’s clients was attacked — the digital voting platform of the Eurovision Song Contest. The BBC article notes that “the mystery cyber attackers turned out to be strangely familiar.”

Matthew Prince explained:

“If it wasn’t the same people as those attacking the Turkish escort sites, it was the same resources.”

“So because we had protected the Turkish escorts we were able to help Eurovision.

“They [the escort websites] may not seem attractive customers… but they helped us learn.”

Cloudflare’s website describes the attack in more detail, noting that the Eurovision.TV website was hit with a DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack in May 2012, making it inaccessible to the public. After Cloudflare were called in, the site was soon back to normal, in time for peak Eurovision time.

Eurovision 2012 was the last time Turkey competed before withdrawing from the contest.

Loreen went on to win Eurovision 2012, with her hugely popular “Euphoria” giving Sweden its fifth win and becoming an enduring Eurovision favourite.

Read more Eurovision news here