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Pro-Iran hackers post bloodied image of Trump on US government website

The Department of Homeland Security warns of the Iranian cyber threat to critical infrastructure [Getty]

Date of publication: 5 January, 2020

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An unidentified hacker group has attacked a website belonging to an American government agency, showing a bloodied image of US President Donald Trump being punched in the face.
A website operated by a US government agency was breached by a hacker group claiming to represent the government of Iran on Sunday night, just days after the killing of a top Iranian general.

The site, which has since gone offline, was altered to show a image of US President Donald Trump with blood dripping from his teeth after being punched in the face, along with a pro-Iranian message. 

"In the name of  god. >>>>> Hacked By Iran Cyber Security Group HackerS ... ;)<<<<<. This is only small part of Iran's cyber ability ! We're always ready," a message read.

The website belongs to the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP), created to provide the American public with "no-fee ready and permanent public access to Federal Government information'.

The litte-known directory comprises bills and statutes, court opinions and a diverse body of material produced by the US government. 

When contacted by NBC Washington, the Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) confirmed it was aware that the site had been defaced with "pro-Iranian, anti-US messaging."

  "CISA is monitoring the situation with FDLP and our federal partners", a CISA spokesperson said in a statement. 

The hack comes two days after a US-ordered drone strike killed Iranian Revolutionary Guard General Qassem Soleimani, marking a major escalation of tensions between Washington and Tehran.  

In a bulletin on Twitter on Saturday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) warned "Iran maintains a robust cyber program and can execute cyber attacks against the United States".

"Iran is capable at a minimum, of carrying out attacks with temporary disruptive effects against critical infrastructure in the United States."

  At present, Iran boasts some of the world's most aggressive hackers, and cybsecurity officials have since Friday's killing warned state-backed operations could target manufacturing facillities, oil and gas plants and transit systems.

Read more: Iran likely to retaliate over Soleiman killing with cyber attacks, experts warn

Business and government agencies have also been warned to be especially vigilant.

The websites of major US banks, including Bank of America and the New York Stock Exchange, were knocked offline in 2012 and 2013 by hackers originating from Iran, in a move widely seen as a response to US-imposed sanctions against Iran's nuclear response.

Two years later, state-backed hackers wiped servers at the Sands Casino in Las Vegas, paralysing all hotel and gambling operations.

While attacks on US eventually slowed down with 2015 Iranian nuclear deal, the killing of General Soleimani - long after Trump's withdrawal - changes the entire state of affairs. 

 


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