KAN, the national TV broadcaster in Israel, has blamed Hamas hackers for briefly hijacking its webcast last night of the Eurovision Song Contest semi-finals.
Although the TV broadcast of the cheesy singing competition, which attracts competitors representing countries across Europe (and, bizarrely, Australia), was not impacted, those watching via KAN’s website had their viewing of power ballads, ethnic rhythms and bubblegum pop interrupted.
Not by a half-decent song (this is Eurovision, after all). but by what Reuters describes as “animated images of explosions” in the host city of Tel Aviv.
The TV station’s boss downplayed the attack:
“We know that at a certain stage there was an attempt, apparently by Hamas, to commandeer our digital broadcast,” Kan CEO, Eldad Koblenz, told Israel’s Army Radio.
“But I am happy to say that within a few minutes we managed to assume control over this phenomenon.”
Screenshots shared on social media show messages that were allegedly displayed, including warnings that Israelis should head to shelters to protect against a missile attack.
If it was indeed Hamas who messed with the much-beloved Eurovision Song Contest then that’s a serious escalation* of hostilities. People are crazy about Eurovision – seriously, you don’t want to mess with it.
Lord knows how Israel might respond to this. Just last week the country launched an airstrike against what they claimed was a building housing Hamas’s cyberwarfare HQ in Gaza.
If you want to hear more about hacking attacks Hamas has perpetrated against Israel, be sure to listen to this episode of the “Smashing Security” podcast:
* I’m being sarcastic.