Anonymous Launches Fresh Attack On Vatican

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

Follow on: Google +

Holy See website taken down as Anonymous publishes details of Vatican Radio journalists

Vatican City has been attacked for the second time in a week by the hactivist collective Anonymous.

Anonymous, which launched its first attack last Wednesday, has also leaked the personal data of journalists at Vatican Radio as part of its battle against the station.

Transmission theory

© - was reportedly inaccessible for large parts of Monday, but was operational at the time of writing. Anonymous posted a statement on Pastebin that claimed responsibility for the attack and said it blamed the signals from Vatican Radio for causing high cancer rates in the area around the station.

The claim is based on a 2010 report conducted by the National Cancer Institute which investigated cancer deaths during the period between 1980 and 2003 in the Rome suburb of Cesano where the Vatican Radio transmitters are located. The Italian Supreme Court ordered Vatican Radio to pay damages to residents of Cesano over a number of leukaemia cases that resulted from high radio wave levels.

The Vatican denied the allegations, saying that Vatican Radio adhered to international laws with regards to electromagnetic emissions, but Anonymous disagrees and has also published the personal data of several of the station’s journalists.

Revenge attacks

“We regret having to announce that your systems are less secure than what you would like to believe, because, while the hype was directed toward the darkening of, we took the liberty to implement a small incursion into your systems,” commented Anonymous.

Anonymous first took down the Vatican website last Wednesday, claiming its actions were revenge for the “corruption” of the Roman Catholic Church over the course of its history. It accused the church of numerous crimes, in particular the sale of indulgences in the 16th century and the burning of heretics during the inquisition.

The attacks come just a week after members of Lulzsec, a group affiliated with Anonymous, were brought down by the FBI with the help of its former leader. Anonymous vowed to take revenge and took down several websites owned by Panda Security, which it accused of cooperating with the investigation.

 How well do you know Internet security? Try our quiz and find out!