It’s been a hard past week for the Vatican’s online presence. Since members of Anonymous declared war on religion last Monday, and as a part of the latest retaliatory cyber attacks following the indictment of several suspected hackers, Vatican servers have been targeted at least three times. First they took down the Vatican homepage, then they broke into a Vatican Radio Server, and now Anonymous-affiliated hacker Agent_Anon is claiming a DDoS of related site catholic.va, with a corresponding database dump on pastebin.
As a part of the pastebin dump, Agent_Anon accused the Vatican and the Catholic church of a centuries-long history of crimes, including a list of nineteen specific grievances relating to crimes against humanity, archaic policies toward reproductive issues, and opposition to scientific progress. “This theocracy needs to either enter the real world with modern ideals, or fall behind an become part of history,” the Anonymous operative asserted in his pastebin manifesto.
I won’t include the entire list of grievances, many of which included allegations of severe crimes or ethical breaches by the church, but I will mention the final grievance on the list, which I found amusingly worded:
The church fucked with Galileo. No one fucks with Galileo. He’s my bro.
Here’s a screen cap from pastebin. Warning to sensitive readers: it contains some offensive language.
As a part of the attack, members of Anonymous claim Catholic.va is currently under DDoS attack. At the time of writing, my browser couldn’t find the server, though a search of both Google and Yahoo revealed no record of the site in question. The similarly named Catholic.org was, however, operational.
Last week’s arrest and indictment of several Anonymous-affiliated hackers may have been a heavy legal blow to the movement. But if authorities were hoping the arrests would demoralize Anonymous members worldwide, I’m not so sure they achieved their goals. The recent frequency of Anonymous attacks suggests that, if anything, previously dormant hackers are mobilizing, and new groups are forming quickly to fill old shoes.