AN IRANIAN hacker vandalised a website that provides healthcare services to 700,000 Dorset people.

He targeted the Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust website – a month after hackers based in Russia did the same thing.

Omid_3rvr said he wanted to damage the websites of Israel and the USA. A hacking expert said the trust should now “think of getting its act together.”

Users were not able to access the website, which includes information on addictions, brain injuries and learning disabilities.

Instead they saw images of a hooded youth sporting an Iranian flag – and a message which read: “We only love Iran and we try to deface the server and site of Israel and USA.”

Omid claimed to be from the ‘Montazer313 Digital Security Team’ – an apparent reference to an Iranian cleric who died in 2009, whose photograph was put on the site.

The site was attacked over the weekend but was back within 24 hours.

Trust acting chief executive Roy Jackson said its website provider was attacked and many other websites were effected.

“It is regrettable that information was briefly unavailable,” he said, “but our site contains no patient information.

“We have asked our provider to assure us that all steps are being taken to ensure any further problems are minimised.”

Bournemouth University hacking expert Dr Paul Ton de Vrieze said it was unusual for attacks to come out of Iran because of its poor Internet connections.

He said: “It looks more like vandalism than serious hacking. The kind of groups that generally do it are adolescent.”

He said hackers often use automated scanners to find vulnerable sites without specifically targeting them.

“It could be an unpatched hole on the website,” he said. “They should think of getting their act together.”