Hackers claiming to be from Iran have taken control of an official American government site.
Users clicking on the American Federal Depository Library Programme (FDLP) were greeted with a ominous black hacked web page from ‘the Islamic Republic of Iran’.
On it is a picture of Donald Trump being hit in the face by an Iranian fist, with blood pouring from his mouth.
Below it are the words ‘Hacked by Iran Cyber Security Group Hackers’ and ‘this is only a small part of Iran’s cyber ability’ – with Iranian hackers claiming responsibility.
However a US government spokesperson admitted “there is no confirmation” that this is an Iranian cyber attack.
On the site the hackers added ‘we are always ready’ and ‘to be continued’. There is also the hash tag of ‘#hardrevenge’.
They posted: “This is message from the Islamic Republic of Iran.
“We will not stop supporting our friends in the regions, the oppressed people of Palestine, the oppressed people of Yemen, the people, and the Syrian government, the people and government of Iraq, the oppressed people of Bahrain, the true mujahideen resistance in Lebanon and Palestine.
“They will be supported by us.”
It comes hours after Trump threatened to hit 52 Iranian sites “very hard” if Iran attacks Americans or US assets.
He was speaking days after a drone strike killed Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani and an Iraqi militia leader.
The FDLP is a government programme created to make US federal publications available to the public at no cost.
Soon after users only got an ‘Error 520’ message when they tried to access the pages.
Sara Sendek, a spokesperson for DHS’ Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, said: “We are aware the website of the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) was defaced with pro-Iranian, anti-US messaging.
“At this time, there is no confirmation that this was the action of Iranian state-sponsored actors.”
In the picture of Trump being hit were the words: “Martyrdom was his (Soleymani’s) reward for years of implacable efforts.
“With his departure and with God’s power, his work and path will not cease and severe revenge awaits those criminals who have tainted their filthy with his blood and the blood of other martyrs of last night’s incident”.
This came after Trump issued a threat to Iran on Twitter. The strike has raised the spectre of wider conflict in the Middle East.
Iran, Trump wrote, “is talking very boldly about targeting certain USA assets” in revenge for Soleimani’s death.
Trump said the United States has “targeted 52 Iranian sites” and that some were “at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD.”
“The USA wants no more threats!” Trump said, adding that the 52 targets represented the 52 Americans who were held hostage in Iran for 444 days after being seized at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in November 1979 – an enduring sore spot in U.S.-Iranian relations.
Trump did not identify the sites. The Pentagon referred questions about the matter to the White House, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Among the mourners in Iraq included many militiamen in uniform for whom Muhandis and Soleimani were heroes.
They carried portraits of both men and plastered them on walls and armoured personnel carriers in the procession.
Chants of “Death to America” and “No No Israel” rang out.
In 2012, Iran has launched a software hack on US allies, Saudi Arabia, and took out an estimated 30,000 computers.
Iran is considered one of the world’s biggest cyber-security threats along with North Korea, China and Russia.