CNA Staff, Jul 29, 2020 / 06:15 am America/Denver (CNA).
State-sponsored hackers have reportedly targeted Vatican computer networks in an attempt to give China an advantage in negotiations to renew a provisional deal with the Holy See.
A report, released July 28, said that hackers may have used a counterfeit condolence message from Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, to gain access to Vatican communications.
The report was compiled by the Insikt Group, the research arm of the U.S.-based cybersecurity company Recorded Future. Researchers said they had uncovered “a cyberespionage campaign attributed to a suspected Chinese state-sponsored threat activity group,” which they referred to as RedDelta.
Investigators said that RedDelta had targeted the Vatican and the Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong from early May.
Other Catholic targets included the Hong Kong Study Mission to China and the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME) in Italy. The report noted that these organizations “have not been publicly reported as targets of Chinese threat activity groups prior to this campaign.”