U.S. Department of Justice in absentia filed charges two hackers who mass-defaced American websites in January 2020, after the assassination of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani. In total, the hackers have broken into more than 51 sites that posted images of Soleimani and messages such as "Down with America."
According to the published published indictmentThe hackers were identified as 19-year-old Behzad Mohammadzadeh, aka Mrb3hz4d, from Iran, and 25-year-old Marwan Abusrour, aka Mrwn007, from Palestine. The authorities consider Mohammadzadeh to be the main inspirer of the attacks.
The defacements began on January 3, 2020, the day after U.S. officials announced the elimination of General Qasem Soleimani, whose car was blown up by a drone near Baghdad International Airport.
Although according to official figures, hackers are responsible for hacking about fifty sites, Mrb3hz4d profile on Zone-H website, which indexes defaces, contains more than 1100 sites, more than 400 of which have been defaced by messages about Suleimani. The most notable compromised resource then was the program portal of the US Federal Depository Library, which quickly bounced back.
Law enforcers write that Abusrur was assigned a secondary role in all this. According to them, the young Palestinian gave Mohammadzadeh access to only seven sites, which his Iranian "colleague" later hacked as part of his campaign. However, officials claim that Abusrur also has a defacement experience: since June 2016, his nickname has been found on more than 337 compromised websites defaulted with pro-Palestinian slogans.
Now, if the hackers are found guilty, they face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $ 250,000. However, the accused still remain at large in their countries, and now they will not be able to freely leave Iran and Palestine without risking arrest.