A DORSET NHS trust’s website was temporarily taken down after it was targeted by a group of hackers calling themselves the Iranian Cyber Army Team.

Users logging on to the Dorset HealthCare NHS Trust website on Monday night found the cyber bandits’ calling card with a link to a .com website showing a bearded man waving a semi-automatic weapon.

The text is mainly a mixture of Arabic and Farsi and the site appears to act as a message exchange for groups of mujahideen, or Muslim freedom fighters.

One message written in English is a second warning to the Italian government that the mujahideen are ready for martyrdom.

Hackers from the Iranian Cyber Army attacked Twitter in December and paralysed China’s biggest search engine, Baidu, and an Iranian-run Dutch radio station in January.

Iranian government opposition groups and some western security experts believe the group has been given a large annual budget to wage cyber war on behalf of the Revo-lutionary Guards. They are loyal to Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmad-inejad.

A spokeswoman for Dorset Health|Care Trust said: “The company that hosts the website was immediately informed. The website was taken down and one of the back-up versions put on.

“We take it very seriously, we don’t want any of the content of the site to be compromised. In this case it wasn’t.

“It’s a very rare occurrence when someone hacks into a computer system. As far as we’re concerned it’s been resolved. There was no confidential information on the site and they didn’t try and tamper with the information on there.”

A Dorset Police spokesman said: “The matter is being looked into. Anyone who sees suspicious or material that is of concern on a website should immediately report it to the website operators and, where possible, note down the www address from the computer’s browser window.

“If people believe that the material may be crime related, they should call Dorset Police in confidence on 01202 222 222 while anyone with concerns about a life being possibly at risk because of the material should dial 999.”