Catholic Online targeted in series of hack attacks

The Catholic Online website fell victim to a series of hackings that began on Sept. 8 and continued until the early morning of Sept. 9, which caused images on some articles not to display properly. However, no major damage had been inflicted.

(REUTERS / Steve Marcus)A man types into a keyboard during the Def Con hacker convention in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. on July 29, 2017.

Several days ago, hackers tried to disrupt the recently posted articles on Catholic.org by preventing some images from displaying properly, but the affected photos were replaced in no time. Although no significant damage resulted from the series of attacks, Catholic Online acknowledged that it was the most successful attack against the website in the last couple of years.

The Catholic website presumed that it was being targeted in such attacks by people opposed to its Christian message, as hackers often targeted its prayers, news, and Bible portions. Although the site closely guarded its security and data, hackers constantly attacked it, and it even lost its Facebook page for a few months in 2015 because of that. 

Aside from that, Catholic Online says it faced increasing censorship on the web. Several Bible readings have been labeled by YouTube as "potentially offensive," and some of the content had been taken down by the video-sharing site.

In a separate situation in May, producers of faith-based 3D stereoscopic movie "Bravery: On Wings Like Eagles" complained about online sabotage that allegedly aimed to hinder their projects. As a result, they had a lot of difficulty raising funds via social networks, The Christian Post reported.

The producers of the Christian movie believe that Facebook and YouTube were blocking views on their posts, thereby pulling down their attempts for exposure and promotion. GoFundMe had also shut down their fundraising page just after they began their efforts for the faith-based film.

GoFundMe said the producers were raising funds for an improper legal purpose even though they were not. The fundraising page was eventually put back up, but their best window for the promotional efforts had already closed by the time.