Anonymous hacks Vatican website

Anonymous hacks Vatican website

Summary: The hacktivist group Anonymous has taken down the Vatican's website. The attack is part of the organization's recent declaration of war against religion.


Update: Anonymous hacks Vatican again

Anonymous has hacked the Vatican. The website for the Catholic Church,, is currently down. This appears to be a typical Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, meaning no actual data was compromised: the website was simply overloaded with requests. As such, while the site was hacked, it wasn't compromised, and will likely be back up shortly.

Anonymous said it is not personally attacking Christians, just the Vatican itself. The group has a problem with the Catholic Church's teachings on birth control and abortion. Anonymous is also not happy with the way the Vatican handles widespread sexual abuse scandals. Last but not least, it accused the Church of harboring Nazi war criminals and condemned the institution for allowing its representatives to molest children.

Here is what YourAnonNews had to say about the DDoS attack on Twitter:

TANGO DOWN - Vatican Website - - (via Anonymous Italia) #ANONYMOUS Why? For the pure, simple lulz, no other reason. Ohai Pope. There were also all those sex abuse scandals and the Vatican's archaic stance on birth control. #JustSayin

Here is what Anonymous had to say about the DDoS attack on Pastebin:

hello Anonymous has now decided to lay siege to your site in response to the doctrines, liturgies and the precepts absurd and anachronistic that your organization is for profit (Roman Apostolic Church) propagates and spreads worldwide. You have burned books of immense historical and literary value, you barbarously executed your fiercest detractors and critics over the centuries, have denied universally deemed valid or plausible theories, have led the unwary to pay to get access to paradise with the sale of indulgences. Have you been guilty of riduazione enslavement of entire populations, using as a pretext your mission of evangelization and the spread of Christianity in the world. In more recent times have played a significant role in helping Nazi war criminals find refuge in foreign countries and to evade international justice. Let every day many of the units within the clergy may be responsible of molesting children, covering them when the facts become public domain. Italy must tolerate interference in your daily life, public policy and social damage, and all that entails. Do you have property and businesses for the value of billions of euros, on which you have strong tax incentives. You refuse to decree, practices and objects result of progress such as condoms or abortion as a clinical wounds to eradicate. You retrogadi, one of the last bastions of an era forunatamente past, and destined anon repeated. We sincerely hope that the Lateran Treaty will finally be revised in the near future and will come ... what you are relegated to a relic of times gone by. This is NOT intended to attack the true Christian religion and the faithful around the world, but to the corrupt Roman Apostolic Church and all its emanations

Anonymous' Italian members seem to be the ones spearheading this particular siege. An Anon News blog post describing the attack, titled TANGO DOWN!!!, was written entirely in Italian. The only exception was the group's signature:


In August 2011, Anonymous attempted to attack the Vatican, but failed. Instead, the group targeted the website of the 2011 World Youth Day, the massive Catholic youth festival that was underway in Madrid, Spain. The website was up and down all day on the first day of the festival: August 18.

Update at 2:00 PM PST: The website is still somewhat accessible. I have seen it working and I have seen it down. I'm guessing that my constant refreshing is not helping the situation. It was originally taken down some seven hours ago, and it still isn't completely operational.

Update: Anonymous hacks Vatican again

See also:

Topics: Software Development, Banking, Browser, Government US

Emil Protalinski

About Emil Protalinski

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years,
he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars
Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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  • I know it's not the way of Catholic teachings, but

    a bullet through the heads of these hackers is what they deserve.
    William Farrel
    • Extreme

      That seems just a bit extreme. How about removal of hands to prevent typing?

      Only joking, of course, but I can't see why your comment is rated so low.
      Patrick Aupperle
  • Yet children need to get spanked

    So here we are again, those little children going after those old Microsoft unpatched servers. I would be impressed if they actually could do some real hacking. So did ya hear; a few of there hackers were finally arrested. Get this now; this big old bad hacker is so tough yet lived in a basement and was on welfare. How funny is that; now there is one thing the FBI and Interpol needs to do. They need to act just like the Cartels and take off those gloves and beat these children to a pulp. They had some support when they first came out; yet now all that support is gone. These fools have done nothing but upset many people and Karma is a 6itch. I would not loose any sleep over these guys getting whacked.
    • You'd like to believe that wouldn't you? (pun intended)

      1. They attack unpatched Solaris and LAMP vulnerabilities
      2. Interpol is worthless, they're the equivalent of criminal birdwatchers
      3. What have you done lately?
      4. So you just want to kill anyone who disagrees with you? That's real mature.
  • Works ok

    Just gave the site a try.
    Works OK.
  • LOL... I love it....

    Come on.. no one with half a brain believes a word of the oldest chain letter in existance, aka the bible, Quran, Torah... Religion was created by men (men who never thought their lies could be disproven by technology) and has absolutly nothing to do with reality. Religion is pure evil...

    Know Jesus, Know Satan...
    No Jesus, No Satan...

    No one ever started wars nor molested children, nor guilted people in to giving up money for Taoism... There are plenty of other belief systems that honor morality with scewing up the world like Religion does. Now days religion is only for weak minded fools.
    • Talk about ignorance

      'Nough said.
    • Some people have no clue

      "No one ever started wars nor molested children, nor guilted people in to giving up money for Taoism... There are plenty of other belief systems that honor morality with scewing up the world like Religion does. Now days religion is only for weak minded fools."

      Wow, you have no understanding of religion whatsoever. No one has ever molested children for Christianity. You should realize that the rate of molestation by priest is much, much lower than the average populace. Those that did commit this terrible sin certainly did not do it for their religion. Amazingly, the Catholic church also never guilted anyone into giving up money. Indulgences were never there to guilt anyone. They also were never an admission price for Heaven. Indulgences were simply good works. Catholicism also promotes morality and never screws up the world. Whether you follow something or not, you should at learn the history. The world would be a much greater (and more charitable) place if everyone followed the values laid out in the Bible even if they denied the existance of God.
      Patrick Aupperle
      • nt

        1. The crusades
        2. The spanish inquisition
        3. Henry VIII
        4. Henry V
        5. So on and so forth

        The problem is that religion is, always has been and will remain a control mechanism used by those in control of it to exploit people. If you deny that, you're willfully ignorant. The relevant moral values in the bible are common sense (don't kill people, don't steal, respect others. No shit, rocket science huh?).

        The ones that take center stage: gays suck, fund israel because we want jesus to come back sooner, women's health is a non-issue when it comes to potential tithes and bodycount, etc.
  • Hilarious!!

    When it comes to the Vatican, hack away boys!!!
  • Oppressed, or Oppressor?

    The problem with the whole structure of this group, is that anybody with an axe to grind with any other particular group, or organization, can commit any number and type of nefarious acts "Anonymously" and lay the responsibility on you know who's doorstep. Given enough time and the number whack jobs running lose on this planet, eventually this group is going to end up standing for everything and consequently, nothing. If this group actually did attack the Vatican, I have to wonder if they have taken to dictating people's moral and spiritual beliefs. In which case it would seem that these idealistic "defenders of the oppressed" are quickly becoming the oppressors. Standing against all the injustices of the world will prove to be their undoing because, as with beauty, injustice lies in the eye of the beholder. Something they should seriously consider.
  • worthless group

    The anonymice losers are getting excited that people are noticing them for the first time in their pathetic lives. Dear Anonymous group, you are not important and your posted words are of the same value as the wall scratchings next to the public toilet.
    • nt

      And you know what, if you repeat that enough, you'll actually start to believe it. They were obviously important enough for you to come and write about it (anonymously I might add).
  • Annoying

    Anonymous hacked a website? They've done so much to help children and society.

    They spew the same old false and tired accusations against the Catholic Church and Christians in pure ignorance and bliss.

    If you are going to consider the church your enemy at least take time to know thy enemy..

    The Catholic Church is a massive institution with more followers than Muslims, if it wanted to cause chaos in this world, it would easily do it. But they are not interested in that type of stuff.

    Anyways, continue in your ignorance.
    • um not sure what the "subject" would be

      the catholic church has been around for hundreds of years and most people only have less than 100 years to find thaws in it, while the church can just keep slowly fixing these flaws so of couse you are going to see repeated arguements against it. just saying. look at the big picture.

      and muslims and christians both have about 1/3 of the world population and catholics make up less than half of christians sooo you were wrong just so you know.

      and Christianity is just an adoption/reinterpretation of Greeko-Roman and Sumerian mythology.

      and this is the internet dont bother remarking about my spelling or grammer