SOMERVILLE, Jul 29, 2020, Hindu BL. China hacked the Vatican’s computer networks to in an effort to closely monitor religious groups and “sinicise religions in China”, Recorded Future, a cybersecurity firm based in Somerville, Massechusetts, claimed in a study, The Hindu Business Line reported.
The intrusion came ahead of the anticipated September 2020 renewal of the landmark 2018 China-Vatican provisional agreement, a deal which reportedly resulted in the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) gaining more control and oversight over the country’s historically persecuted “underground” Catholic community.
The classified data had reportedly been collected by RedDelta, a Chinese state-sponsored threat activity group tracked by Insikt Group.
This gave them an insight into the negotiating position of the Holy See ahead of the deal’s September 2020 renewal.
It also provided information on the stance of the Vatican on Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement amidst widespread protests and the recent enforcement of the Hong Kong national security law.
China has often been accused of conducting espionage operations in order to gain sensitive information. Many countries, including India and the US, have voiced apprehension that Chinese apps collect private data of users and share it with the Chinese government.