Anonymous, the activist hacking collective, claimed credit Wednesday for taking down Web sites run by the Vatican. The attack came just a day after the FBI announced it had arrested five people allegedly affiliated with the collective, perhaps as an attempt to show that the movement would continue in spite of the arrests.
The Vatican Web site vatican.va was inaccessible around 3:30 p.m., Eastern time on Wednesday.
At least one prominent Anonymous Twitter account, YourAnonNews, said that the attack was done just for the fun of it, but that the group may have also targeted the Vatican because of scandals over sexual abuse and the Catholic Church’s “archaic stance” on birth control.
A statement posted to the Web site Pastebin, went further, rattling off a long list of grievances ranging from the accusation that the Catholic Church helped “Nazi war criminals” to a complaint about the institution’s “tax incentives.”
Members of Anonymous previously attempted to attack the Vatican last year, but failed.
Hackers claiming an association with the group also attacked the security firm PandaLabs, posting a rant accusing the firm of helping the FBI arrest 25 members of the group last month, The Washington Post reported.
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