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Vatican Invites Hackers To Fix Problems, Not Breach Security ( 72

From a report: Computer hackers with a heart are descending on the Vatican to help tackle pressing problems particularly dear to Pope Francis, including how to better provide resources for migrants and encourage solidarity for the poor. The "Vatican Hackathon," an around-the-clock computer programming marathon, starts Thursday in the Vatican, with the full support of the pope, several Vatican offices and student volunteers from Harvard and MIT. Organizers stressed that no firewalls will be breached or acts of computer piracy committed.
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Vatican Invites Hackers To Fix Problems, Not Breach Security

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  • That's not how any of this works

    • What do you mean, you can't fix problems without finding them first like everyone else can?
      • by arth1 ( 260657 )

        Well, they can pray that any vulnerabilities get revealed, I guess?

      • by hey! ( 33014 )

        Arguably this is the ethos that separates hacking from engineering: hacking involves opportunistically discovering problems to solve.

  • by Comboman ( 895500 ) on Thursday March 08, 2018 @12:55PM (#56227825)
    Think about it: unruly beard, no girlfriend, lived with his mom til he was 30.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      And when he actually did something comparable to real work, it was a miracle.

  • by SirGarlon ( 845873 ) on Thursday March 08, 2018 @12:56PM (#56227833)
    Thank you, Vatican, for using the word "hacking" in the original sense as hackers themselves defined it []. Before the mainstream press appropriated it and turned it into a perjorative.
    • But was it intentional?

      Verbage of the OP suggests confusion and conflation.

      I wouldn't be surprised if they hired a Hack-a-thon veteran to set this thing up, but still couldn't understand the difference between a hacker (A), and a "hacker" (B) (slang).
      • I think it's the reporter who wrote TFA who didn't know the difference.
        • Quite possible. That would serve to indicate the conflation and confusion was unintentional, and instead demonstrates the poor quality of news sources. Though it probably does so anyway, I haven't had time to read the article yet to see if the author points out the errors in logic to the reader.
  • This seems like a very bad idea.
    True hackers tend to be very individualistic, and as a group probably have a higher than average number of atheists. If I were qualified, I would have tried to get in on this with my first goal being to open up a back door so I could leak Vatican secrets at my convenience for a long time to come.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      While I consider myself Athiest only due to my own ignorance on other terms for deity-free people, I respect peoples rights to believe what they want.

      I also respect the current pope only because he's an actual human being with the intent of actually helping people, even if the subtext is that he is doing it in the name of his deity.

      • by agm ( 467017 )

        He's trying to help people? Is that why they don't allow condoms to be used in AIDS ravaged African countries? No, they seek power and they use threats of eternal punishment to get it. It's a disgusting sham.

    • - there is no 'True Hacker'
      - Individual developers have their own preferences to working alone or in groups, both occur, but it seems that many (most?) prefer teams
      - Atheism does not disallow altruism nor require attack on churches
      - You didn't read the article, it has nothing to do with the network used by the church, it's a standard hackathon sponsored by the church.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    They could just hack the Vatican's accounts. That would be stealing just like how the popes stole it originally during the crusades. Probably they will just end up showing cardinals how to hide their digital footprints when abusing children, its a long standing tradition in the Catholic church to cover up abuses rather than punish those responsible.

  • How much are they paying for this? Isn't this sort of thing usually a pretty pricey aspect of IT?

    • 1) It's a charitable act. Charity. As in, you do it for free, because it's the right thing to do.
      2) They're not talking about IT systems. They're talking about hacking together solutions for those under-served by the general populace.

  • Blockchain consultant: "You see - it is all meet and right, for in the beginning, your Holyness, we shall have a Genesis Block. And thus through Proof of Works shall we suffer the poor to mine unto God what is God's for the glory of the one true Fork."

    Papa F: "My child, this proposal seems canonically inconsistent with doctrines concerning salvation by faith. Indeed, should we not tempt the poor into the servitude of Mammon by making each the hustler of his fellow man, the wealthy must be persuaded to - wh

  • Project Pope by Clifford D. Simak is a reality []

Some people have a great ambition: to build something that will last, at least until they've finished building it.