As the Holy See and Beijing negotiate the renewal of the secret deal reached in September 2018, Chinese cyber-hackers have infiltrated the Vatican computer networks in the past three months.
The information was revealed by the New York Times on July 28, 2020. The American daily is based its reporting on the conclusions of Recorded Future, the digital surveillance company based in Massachusetts (United States) to which the Vatican has entrusted the security of its computer networks.
The series of intrusions began in early May after a forged letter was sent on the letterhead of the Vatican Secretary of State. The letter, addressed to Bishop Javier Corona Herrera, diplomat in charge of the Hong Kong study mission, contained a message of condolence from the number two man in the Vatican, Cardinal Pietro Parolin.
This daring hack would have made it possible to hit both the Secretary of State and the Hong Kong diplomatic office responsible for carrying out negotiations with the Chinese authorities to renew the historic agreement negotiated between the two parties two years ago.
Recorded Future concluded that the attack was carried out by a state-sponsored group in China called RedDelta.
These revelations are likely to arouse anxiety in the Vatican and anger in China, among all those who consider this provisional agreement signed between the Holy See and Beijing as an unconditional surrender of Chinese Catholics, delivered to the arbitrariness of the communist dictatorship.