Hackers Deface U.S. Government Website With Pro-Iran Messages and Image of Bloodied Trump Being Punched

Hackers purporting to be from Iran reportedly defaced a U.S. government website, posting a picture of a bloodied President Donald Trump being punched in the face as well as pro-Iran messages.

The homepage for the U.S. Federal Depository Library Program was briefly changed on Saturday evening, CBS News reported, to include a message that said: "Hacked by Iran Cuber Security Group Hackers. This is only small part of Iran's cyber ability! We're always ready."

The website could not be accessed shortly after the image of Trump appeared and remained down in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Apparent hacking by an #Iran-linked group of a US government website (the little-known Federal Depository Library Program). https://t.co/r47ODmt4Pw is currently offline. pic.twitter.com/8dx7EDUZvu

— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) January 5, 2020

A spokesperson for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, which is a division of the Department of Homeland Security, said the source of the hack could not yet be confirmed.

"We are aware the website of the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) was defaced with pro-Iranian, anti-US messaging," the spokesperson said in a statement to Newsweek. "At this time, there is no confirmation that this was the action of Iranian state-sponsored actors. The website was taken off line and is no longer accessible. CISA is monitoring the situation with FDLP and our federal partners."

Gary Somerset, the chief public relations officer for the U.S. Government Publishing Office, which runs the Federal Depository Library Program website, confirmed to CNN that the website had been taken down shortly after the hack was detected. "We are coordinating with the appropriate authorities to investigate further," he said.

The incident comes days after the U.S. killed Iran's General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' Quds Force, in a drone strike further heightening tensions between the U.S. and Iran.

Iran has promised "harsh revenge" on the U.S. for the killing of Soleimani, who has been blamed for attacks on U.S troops and American allies dating back decades, the Associated Press reported.

Trump vowed on Twitter to attack Iran if it retaliates against the U.S. for "ridding the world of their terrorist leader who had just killed an American, & badly wounded many others."

"The United States just spent Two Trillion Dollars on Military Equipment. We are the biggest and by far the BEST in the World!" Trump tweeted on Saturday evening. "If Iran attacks an American Base, or any American, we will be sending some of that brand new beautiful equipment their way...and without hesitation!"

In a previous tweet, Trump wrote the U.S. had "targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some 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!"

The new @DHSgov NTAS Bulletin on the threat landscape was issued to inform & reassure the American public, state/local governments & private partners that DHS is actively monitoring & preparing for any specific, credible threat, should one arise. pic.twitter.com/iNnHU1TI9A

— Acting Secretary Chad Wolf (@DHS_Wolf) January 4, 2020

Meanwhile, a bulletin posted on Twitter by the Department of Homeland Security warns Americans of the threat posed by Iran, and states that an attack "may come with little or no warning."

The bulletin also warns that Iran "maintains a robust cyber program and can execute cyber attacks against the United States." It adds: "Iran is capable, at a minimum, of carrying out attacks with temporary disruptive effects against critical infrastructure in the United States."

Acting Secretary of the DHS Chad Wolf tweeted the National Terrorism Advisory System bulletin was issued to inform and reassure people that the department is "actively monitoring & preparing for any specific, credible threat, should one arise."

The CISA spokesperson added: "As described in the recent NTAS bulletin, in these times of increased threats, all organizations should increase monitoring, back up your systems, implement multi factor authentication, and have an incident response plan at the ready. For more information on the cyber threat landscape and prevention and preparedness tips, please see CISA.gov."

The Government Publishing Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have been contacted for comment.

This article has been updated to include a statement from CISA.

anti-war protest
Anti-war demonstrators march past the Trump International Hotel during a demonstration against war in Iraq and Iran on January 4, 2020 in Washington, DC. Demonstrations are taking place in several U.S. cities in response to increased tensions in the Middle East as a result of a U.S. airstrike that killed an Iranian general. Alex Edelman/Getty Images