Hackers have hijacked a US government website and posted an image portraying a bloodied Donald Trump receiving an Iranian fist to the face, captioned with pledges for revenge.
Visitors to the Federal Depository Library Program’s website on Saturday were greeted instead by a message purporting to be from the Islamic Republic of Iran.
“Martyrdom was [Qassem Soleimani’s] reward for years of implacable efforts,” read one of the messages, amid images of missiles and Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
The group, which called itself Iran Cyber Security Group Hackers, appears unlikely to be working on Tehran’s behalf. “This is only small [sic] part of Iran’s cyber ability,” another message said.
The cyber attack came as Iran vowed “crushing and powerful” retaliation for the Trump-decreed assassination of the Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force commander, who is now being painted as a martyr by the Iranian leadership.
A spokesperson for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), a division of the Department of Homeland Security, said the website was taken offline as soon as the breach was noticed.
A statement 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.
“The website was taken offline and is no longer accessible. CISA is monitoring the situation with FDLP and our federal partners.”
On Sunday, Mr Trump faced further criticism after threatening to strike 52 targets in Iran, some of cultural importance, which many experts said constituted a war crime.
Meanwhile, Iraqi lawmakers voted to start a process of expelling foreign troops from their country, and Iranian politicians opened their parliamentary session with unified chants of “death to America“.