Did a cyberattack disrupt Archbishop Cordileone's rosary for Ukraine?

Cordileone rosary Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone praying the rosary for Ukraine in his chapel on March 2, 2022. | Mary Powers/Archdiocese of San Francisco

Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone's online "Rosary for Peace in Ukraine” Wednesday was disrupted by a suspected cyberattack, according to the Archdiocese of San Francisco, which reported the incident to the FBI.

A suspiciously large surge of requests to access the event temporarily knocked the archdiocese's website offline, the archdiocese said.

“The evidence strongly suggests it was a cyberattack,” Father Patrick Summerhays, vicar general and moderator of the curia, said in a statement Wednesday night. The rosary webpage was determined to be responsible for the outage, he said.

The pattern of this sudden surge in traffic is consistent with a method of cyber attacking called Distributed Denial of Service Attack, the statement said. The archdiocese said the source of the attack could not be immediately identified by the website hosting company.

The archdiocese began publicizing the event Sunday evening on social media and in emails to supporters. You can watch a recording of the event and join in the archbishop's prayers here.

Cordileone’s rosary for peace followed the lead of Pope Francis who called for prayer and fasting for peace in Ukraine on Ash Wednesday.

Our mission is the truth. Join us!

Your monthly donation will help our team continue reporting the truth, with fairness, integrity, and fidelity to Jesus Christ and his Church.