Pope critical of Russia: Vatican website hacked

A Vatican spokesman said Wednesday that the Holy See has taken down its main vatican.va website amid a series of apparent attempts to hack the site.

“Technical investigations are ongoing due to abnormal attempts to access the site,” Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni told Reuters Nov. 30, without elaboration.

The perpetrator and motives of the alleged hacker or hackers, in this case, remain unclear.

The attack came a day after Russian leaders criticised Pope Francis for comments he made about Russia’s war in Ukraine in a recent interview.

In the interview, the pope described Ukraine as a “martyred people” and singled out two Russian ethnic minorities — Chechens and Buryati — as “generally the cruellest” in the conflict.

The Vatican’s ageing main website has attracted other hackers, too.

In 2012, the Italian branch of the activist hacking group Anonymous took down the Vatican’s website using a simple “denial of service” hacking method, whereby the site was artificially flooded with traffic in an attempt to overload it. Continue reading

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