Vatican refuses to comment on cyber attack rumors

By David Kerr

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St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City.

The Vatican is refusing to confirm or deny reports that it has once again been subject to a cyber attack by hostile hackers.

“No comment,” said a two-word Aug. 31 statement from the Vatican Press Office in response to an inquiry from EWTN News.

According to an Aug 29 report from FOX Business, the Vatican discovered this week that it had been victim to “a sophisticated and targeted cyber attack.” 

The internet security firm Radware issued a threat alert on Aug. 28, stating that a new Trojan malware – short for “malicious software” – was being used for the first time against one of its customers.

A confidential source told Fox Business that the victim of the attack was the Vatican and claimed that “the tool was quite sophisticated, apparently focused and, until now, stealthy.”

Radware’s incident report describes the malware as a “newly found Trojan” that “monitors keystrokes on the victim’s computer, collects user passwords, credit card numbers and other sensitive information.” Once collected, the malware then “sends all the stolen data out of the organization to the attackers’ remote servers” using secured connections.

Earlier this year the Vatican was subject to a cyber attack by the loose-knit group of hackers known as Anonymous.  Those responsible claimed they were acting against “the doctrines, liturgies and absurd and outdated precepts” of the Catholic Church. The attack, however, was repelled.

Radware, which is headquartered in Tel Aviv, Israel, says they were also called in to assist the Vatican on that occasion.

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