Germany denies it might host Euro 2012 football tournament

The German Football Association (DFB) has denied speculation that UEFA is making contingency plans for Germany to host the Euro 2012 if the political situation in Ukraine do not improve.

Germany denies it might host Euro 2012 football tournament
Can Ukraine dig out of this one? Photo: DPA

“There is no contact with UEFA regarding this question, and there is no official inquiry. The UEFA executive committee will meet to discuss the Euro 2012 in Bordeaux at the end of September,” DFB General Secretary Wolfgang Niersbach said on Tuesday in response to a report this week by UK daily paper the Daily Telegraph.

But UEFA President Michel Platini has not ruled out a change of plans. “The preparations are not what we thought they were,” he said in early July during an inspection trip in Ukraine and Poland, the countries set to co-host the football tournament. “If there aren’t stadiums in Kiev and Warsaw, then the Euro won’t take place there,” he added.

Poland is on schedule with tournament preparations, but a lack of transportation infrastructure and tense political situation apparently have UEFA thinking twice about Ukraine’s role.

According to the Daily Telegraph, Berlin and Leipzig are both under consideration as main host cities if things don’t work out in Ukraine, because of Germany’s geographical proximity to Poland and existing football infrastructure after hosting the 2006 World Cup.

But UEFA spokesman William Gaillard denied this. “We have simply encouraged Ukraine to double its efforts,” he said on Tuesday.


Pro-Kremlin hackers launch another attack on official Italian sites

The Russia-linked hacker collective Killnet is engaged in an ongoing attack on Italian institutional websites, the second in two weeks, according to media reports.

Pro-Kremlin hackers launch another attack on official Italian sites

The attack, which began on Thursday evening and was still in progress as of Friday early afternoon, was reportedly confirmed by Italy’s Postal Police who are investigating the matter.

Among the fifty or so institutions targeted are Italy’s Superior Council of the Judiciary, its Customs Agency, and its foreign affairs, education, and cultural heritage ministries, according to the newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore.

READ ALSO: Italy’s cybersecurity agency warns against use of Russian software

Killnet claimed the attack in a Telegram message, instructing its members to “fire on all fronts” in order to “liquidate the Italian information structure” – but to leave its healthcare system untouched.

On Friday shortly before 1pm Italian time, Italy’s embassy in London tweeted that the websites of the country’s foreign ministry and all its embassies had been hit and were out of action.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs website and consular applications at this location have been affected by a cyber attack,” the tweet reads.

“We apologize to users for inconveniences and delays in the processing of paperwork.”

Just last week, Killnet launched a separate cyberattack on the official Italian websites including those of Italy’s defence ministry and senate.

READ ALSO: Pro-Russia hackers target Italian official websites

On that occasion the issue was resolved within the space of hours, with senate President Elisabetta Alberti Casellati tweeting that no damage had ultimately been done.

In both cases, DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks were used, which involves overloading a site’s servers by flooding it with requests but does not compromise a site’s infrastructure.

Killnet targeted Romanian government websites last month, citing Romania’s support for Ukraine in the war against Russia, according to the country’s national cybersecurity agency.

Romania’s intelligence service said the group has also targeted official websites of the United States, Poland, the Czech Republic, Estonia and NATO.