“In one attack, the hackers weaponized an electronic file with a letter that had a note of condolence from Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s secretary of state.”
The Vatican is reported to have been hacked by attackers working for China, just before diplomatic negotiations were set to begin between the Vatican and Beijing.
“The Vatican and Beijing are expected to start talks in September over control of the appointment of bishops and the status of houses of worship as part of a renewal of a provisional agreement signed in 2018 that revised the terms of the Catholic Church’s operations in China,” report Jason Horowitz, David Sanger, and Ed Wong at the New York Times:
The attack was detected by Recorded Future, a firm based in Somerville, Mass. The Chinese Communist Party has been waging a broad campaign to tighten its grip on religious groups, in what government leaders have periodically referred to as an effort to “Sinicize religions” in the country.
China officially recognizes five religions, including Catholicism, but the authorities often suspect religious groups and worshipers of undermining the control of the Communist Party and the state, and of threatening the country’s national security.
Chinese hackers and state authorities have often used cyberattacks to try to gather information on groups of Buddhist Tibetans, Muslim Uighurs and Falun Gong practitioners outside China.
But this appears to be the first time that hackers, presumed by cybersecurity experts at Recorded Future to be working for the Chinese state, have been publicly caught directly hacking into the Vatican and the Holy See’s Study Mission to China, the Hong Kong-based group of de facto Vatican representatives who have played a role in negotiating the Catholic Church’s status.
Hackers working for China’s government targeted firms working on coronavirus vaccines, and stole hundreds of millions of dollars worth of intellectual property and trade secrets, claims the Justice Department in a statement Tuesday announcing criminal charges.
The FTC and the Justice Department are investigating claims that TikTok, the popular social media app with close ties to China, violated a 2019 agreement to protect children’s privacy.
Zoom performs work of China internet censors — against users in the U.S.
Learning a new language is like stepping up to the base of Mount Everest. You know you’ve got one heck of a climb ahead of you. But while the sheer magnitude of the task ahead scares away many climbers, the real trick is finding the path up that best fits with your skills and capabilities. […]
While we all like to think that we’re honest people, the truth is that little white lies spring up all the time. You don’t intend to lie. But through surprise or embarrassment or just a desire not to start a situation, falsehoods start tumbling out of your mouth. Like the last time your dentist asked […]
For years, Python has remained one of the most popular and most effective programming languages around just because it’s so darn easy to use. From its simple programming syntax to its code readability and a command structure that’s almost like basic English, young coders intuitively start getting the Python process after a basic introduction. Of […]