The website of an obscure government organization called the Federal Depository Library Program was hijacked over the weekend by hackers claiming to be linked to Iran.
The Daily Mail reports that a hacker group calling itself the “Iran Cyber Security Group,” has hijacked the website of the little-known Federal Depository Library Program, Fdlp.gov. The website displayed a message stating: “in the name of god. >>>>> Hacked By Iran Cyber Security Group HackerS … ;)<<<<<. This is only small part of Iran’s cyber ability ! We’re always ready.”
Social media posts captured the hacked page before it was fixed:
— Andres Del Aguila (@Andres_DAguila) January 5, 2020
The FDLP is a government project that aims to make federal government publications available to the public for free. Other non-government related websites were also targeted, including the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank, the Taiwan Lung Meng Technology Company, and the Human Rights Protection Association of India. British company Bigways was also affected by the hack.
Security experts believe that the hacks may be retaliation against the U.S. for the airstrike on Friday which killed Iranian Revolutionary Guard General Qasem Soleimani. U.S. cybersecurity officials are warning the government to be extra vigilant in the coming weeks, with systems controlling manufacturing facilities, oil and gas plants and transit systems potentially under threat.
Iranian state-backed hackers have previously carried out a series of disruptive denial-of-service attacks in 2012 and 2013 that knocked offline the websites of major U.S. banks including Bank of America as well as the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ. This was in response to U.S. sanctions against the country.
John Hultquist, director of intelligence analysis at the cybersecurity firm FireEye, stated his concerns now that the Iranian Nuclear Deal has been scrapped and the U.S. has killed Soleimani: “Our concern is essentially that things are going to go back to the way they were before the agreement. There are opportunities for them to cause real disruption and destruction.”