Vatican Targeted in Cyber Attack on Google

Internet Searchers Misdirected

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VATICAN CITY, JULY 18, 2010 ( This weekend the Vatican was targeted in a cyber attack by an unknown person who used the Google Internet search engine to misdirect Web browsers searching for information.

On Saturday, any user who typed the word «Vatican» into the search field on Google’s Web page was directed to the site «» as the first suggestion, rather than the proper Vatican Web page.

Users who entered this site proposed by the search engine viewed a blank page.

When this misdirection was discovered, Google was informed, said Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office.

The Internet organization immediately apologized and assured the Holy See that it would do what it could to resolve the problem as soon as possible.

On Sunday morning the problem seemed to be corrected, as users were once again directed to the proper Vatican Web page upon initiating a search for it.

Although the person who caused this problem has not been found, the indications suggested that the operation may have been carried out by someone who had significant knowledge of how Google functions.

According to what ZENIT has been able to verify through internet registrations, the Web page is the property of the GuionBajo firm in Monterrey, Mexico, though the firm’s owner is not necessarily responsible for subverting the Vatican search through Google.

Nor did the Vatican denounce Google for its part in this error as the company immediately apologized for the incident and sought to resolve the problem.

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