Update: First Iran linked cyber-attack against U.S. Gov. website

Hackers who claim to be working for the Iranian government have hacked a US government website in a “revenge” attack.

In a brutal take-down of the Federal Depository Library Program the hackers warned this first move was “only a small part of Iran’s cyber ability”.

The hackers 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.”

Images of a photoshop Donald Trump appearing to be bloodied by a punch to the face, the Iranian flag and the country’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei were also posted onto the page.

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The killing of Iran’s most well known military general, Qassem Soleimani, has generated an elevated threat of cyber-attacks from the country’s Cyber Defense Command. These strategies have been used increasingly since the development of the command in 2010. This newer military command was created in response a U.S. cyber-attack against Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility using the infamous “StuxNet” malware. The increase in cyber capability has made Iran become one of the emerging states with active cyber-warfare units, including it as part of the Iranian military’s “soft war” strategy.

Past incidents tied to Iran have shown a willingness to use these cyber capabilities for a number of different objectives.

  • A 2014 attack targeted Israel’s internet infrastructure with the purpose of creating a communications blackout.
  • In 2015 an attack was made against the Turkish power grid, using malware to cause electrical blackouts for 12 hours in 44 provinces.
  • In 2017 Iran was hacking into email accounts and executing an information warfare strategy, intended to interfere with ongoing negotiations regarding the Iran nuclear deal.
  • Other attacks have targeted the U.S. financial sector.

These represent just a few examples of capabilities and methodologies which have been used in the past, and only considered to be one of the risk areas associated with expected retaliations by the Iranian regime.

More information regarding other expected threats will be presented in additional articles.


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