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Italian police identify siblings arrested in cyberattack on Vatican

January 16, 2017

Italian police have identified a brother and sister who were arrested last week in connection with a hacking attack on the Vatican and on Italian government officies.

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Giulio and Mario Occhionero, engineers who have residences in both Rome and London, reportedly gained access to several Vatican computer servers, including those at the Pontifical Council for Culture and at a guest house used by many visiting prelates. They hacked into 18,000 computer accounts, copying thousands of email messages—which were then stored on a computer in the US, drawing the FBI to be into the investigation that led to arrest of the Occhioneros.

Italian experts say that they doubt the Occhioneros were working for themselves. The confidential information that they obtained from the Vatican and from Italian government agencies could have considerable value to other governments, corporations, or institutions involved in international affairs.


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  • Posted by: ElizabethD - Jan. 17, 2017 7:12 PM ET USA

    The siblings seem to be Giulio and Francesca. Giulio is apparently a high level freemason and this seems connected to his motives for at least some of the hacking since one of his victims is the leader of a major freemason lodge, and freemasonry was one of the folder titles that he sorted data into.