Targeting of Vatican City computer networks
Date of report
  • July 2020
Hackers conducted an espionage campaign against Vatican City beginning in May 2020. In one instance, embedded malware was sent using the email of the Vatican Secretary of State. Hackers were likely trying to gain information on the Vatican’s negotiating position prior to high-level talks between the Catholic Church and Beijing in September 2020 regarding a provisional agreement concerning the appointment of Catholic bishops in China. 
Suspected victims
  • Vatican City
  • Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions
  • Hong Kong Study Mission to China
Suspected state sponsor
  • China
Target category
  • Government
  • Civil society
Victim government reaction
  • Yes
Policy response