Summary: The hacktivist group Anonymous has taken down the Vatican’s website for a second time. The attack is part of the organization’s recent declaration of war against religion.
Anonymous has hacked the Vatican for a second time. The website for the Catholic Church, vatican.va, is currently down. Unlike the first hack, which appeared to be a typical Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, this one is more than just taking down the website. The main target of the new strike is Vatican Radio, and today’s attack is possible because of a backdoor Anonymous created for itself the first time around.
Once again, Anonymous’ Italian members are the ones behind this particular siege. A Pastebin post details what Anonymous wants from the Vatican. It is written entirely in Italian, the only exception being the group’s signature:
We are Anonymous
We are Legion
We don’t forgive
We don’t forget
In short, the message says the Vatican’s systems are less secure than the Church may think. While everyone was focused on the site being down, Anonymous decided to penetrate the systems further than just your average DDoS attack, which typically overloads a website with requests.
In the first attack on March 7, Anonymous said it is not personally attacking Christians, just the Vatican itself. The group explained it has a problem with the Catholic Church’s teachings on birth control and abortion. Anonymous is also not happy with the way the Vatican handles widespread sexual abuse scandals. Last but not least, it accused the Church of harboring Nazi war criminals and condemned the institution for allowing its representatives to molest children.
In August 2011, Anonymous attempted to attack the Vatican, but failed. Instead, the group targeted the website of the 2011 World Youth Day, the massive Catholic youth festival that was underway in Madrid, Spain. The website was up and down all day on the first day of the festival: August 18.