Vatican website targeted with multiple hack attempts, ‘abnormal’ access

A church official confirmed that the Vatican has been fighting a series of cyberattacks since Tuesday.

As of Tuesday morning, users have reported problems accessing the Vatican’s official website. Attempts to access the site are frequently met with 404 error responses.

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The Swiss Vatican Guards stand in front of St. Peter’s Basilica before the arrival of Pope Francis to celebrate Easter Mass, Sunday, April 1, 2018.
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And according to the Vatican, it was a series of attempts to hack the Catholic Church’s central site that forced the page to go down again and again this week.

“Technical investigations are ongoing due to abnormal attempts to access the site,” Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni told Reuters on Wednesday. Brunei reportedly did not provide further details.

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The Vatican website is a hub for users to read papal addresses, reference church calendars, as well as contact Catholic charities and outreach programs.

It also offers its own internal news service and daily bulletins of Pope Francis and his speeches.

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Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev receives Pope Francis upon his arrival at Nur-Sultan International Airport on September 13, 2022.

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev receives Pope Francis upon his arrival at Nur-Sultan International Airport on September 13, 2022.
(Filippo Monteforte/AFP via Getty Images)

As of Thursday morning, Fox News Digital had access to the site, but was giving intermittent 404 errors when navigating it.

The Vatican website is a frequent target of cyberattacks.

In 2018, the Vatican and the Catholic Archdiocese of Hong Kong were targets of alleged Chinese state-backed hackers.

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The carpet depicting the late Pope John Paul I hangs from St. Peter's Basilica during the ceremony of beatification led by Pope Francis at the Vatican, Sunday, September 4, 2022.

The carpet depicting the late Pope John Paul I hangs from St. Peter’s Basilica during the ceremony of beatification led by Pope Francis at the Vatican, Sunday, September 4, 2022.
(AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

In 2015, the personal data of Vatican Radio journalists were leaked online and the Vatican website was hacked twice in as many days, with both attacks attributed to the amorphous internet activist group Anonymous.

The group claimed to have taken down the Vatican’s website in protest of everything from the Catholic faith to pedophilia.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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