Department of Homeland Security investigates apparent hacking of government website

Posted: Updated:

An investigation is underway after a government website was hacked Saturday night involving pro-Iran messages.

Just days after the United States killed one of Iran's top military leaders, the Federal Depository Library Program's site was vandalized.

The website was defaced Saturday with pro-Iranian messages and an image of President Donald Trump bleeding from the mouth.

"We're looking at a country that has a phenomenal cyber capability. Cyber experts in the government will tell you they rank as one of the better cyber-capability countries to conduct attacks," said counterterrorism expert Sal Lifrieri.

He suspects the attack on the FDLP website was by an Iran-sympathizer and not the government. Lifrieri says Iran's state-sponsored cyberattacks will aim for bigger targets.

"Attacks on communications networks, data networks, or even electrical grids, stuff like that," he says.

The Department of Homeland Security is reinforcing that concern. In a warning message Saturday night, DHS said, "Iran maintains a robust cyber program and is capable at a minimum of carrying out attacks with temporary disruptive effects against critical infrastructure."

Earlier this week, DHS's top cybersecurity official also reupped a warning first made over the summer about ongoing Iranian phishing attacks. 

 

Cybersecurity experts tell News 12 that the US should be prepared for Iranians to use their cyber abilities as part of a retaliation effort, adding that it’s a tactic they've used in the past.

 

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