Hackers attack Eurovision websites in Azerbaijan

22 May 2012

At least four official websites associated with this weekend’s Eurovision song contest have been attacked by hackers, it has emerged.

The hackers – calling themselves Cyberwarriors for Freedom – were protesting a range of issues, including gay parades.

Demanding that Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev cancel the Eurovision event this weekend altogether, the attacks consisted of messages written in the Azeri language.

Two sites, including www.eurovision.az and www.eurovisionaz.com, were taken down but were back up and running at the time of writing.

Azerbaijan is understood to have spent millions on glamming up its capital city Baku, including building a Crystal Palace to host the event.

However, rights groups allege that homes in the area have been destroyed to free up space around the site while Amnesty International has called for the release of detained opposition activists and guarantee freedom of expression for protesters planning peaceful demonstrations.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years