Mexican claims responsibility for cyber attack against Vatican on Google


CNA STAFF, Jul 21, 2010 / 01:12 pm (CNA).- A Mexican man is claiming responsibility for the cyber attack that made Google direct any search using the word "vaticano" to the website In what some might call a publicity stunt, Efrain Ibarra Ibarra of the technology company Guion Bajo in Monterrey, Mexico admitted he was the one behind the "Google bombing."

Ibarra admitted in a blog posting that he was responsible for the attacks and said his "purpose was to denounce the church, and that was one way using many websites that I have. Greetings from Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico."

CNA's IT director, Jose Zapata, said the Holy See was "not technically hacked," but rather was the target of what is known as "Google bombing," which consists of manipulating the search results of a particular word.

"This technique has been used in the past to pull pranks such as the one a few years ago that listed the website of President George Bush when searching with the words ‘complete failure.' That Google can be manipulated in such a primitive fashion is troublesome," Zapata said.

The domain re-directs users to a false website that used to belong to the Archdiocese of Mexico but is now owned by Ibarra, who owns dozens of domains, including some that are pornographic.

On his site, Ibarra promotes a book by Sanjuana Martinez, an anti-Catholic activist who for years has accused Cardinal Norberto Rivera of Mexico City of covering up cases of pedophilia, despite his exoneration by the courts. Martinez is linked to feminist and pro-abortion organizations such as Catholics for a Free Choice.