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February 8, 2023

The Vatican has been fighting a series of cyberattacks since Tuesday, a church official confirmed.

Beginning Tuesday morning, users reported problems accessing the Vatican’s official website. Attempts to access the site often encounter a 404 error response.

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A series of attempts to deface the Catholic Church’s central website forced the page to shut down several times this week, according to the Vatican.

“A technical investigation is ongoing due to an unusual attempt to access the site,” Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni told Reuters on Wednesday. Bruni reportedly gave no further details.

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The Vatican website is the hub for users to read the Pope’s address, refer to church calendars, and contact Catholic charities and outreach programs.

It also offers its own in-house news service and daily bulletins of Pope Francis and his activities.

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As of Thursday morning, Fox News Digital was able to access the site, but was experiencing occasional 404 errors when navigating.

The Vatican’s website is a frequent target of cyberattacks.

In 2018, the Vatican and the Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong were targeted by alleged Chinese state-backed hacking attacks.

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A tapestry depicting the late Pope John Paul I hangs in St. Peter's Basilica during Pope Francis' beatification ceremony at the Vatican, Sunday, Sept. 4, 2022.

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

The group claims to have shut down the Vatican website in protest of everything from Catholic teachings to child sexual abuse.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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