U.S. Officials Say Russia Hacked A Vermont Utility

December 31, 2016

A Vermont utility company says it found Russian malware on one of it’s computers. The discovery came after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security alerted utilities to the code associated with Grizzly Steppe, the name for what the Obama administration has called a Russian hacking operation.

Burlington Electric, the municipally-owned utility in Vermont’s largest city, issued a statement saying the malware was detected in a single laptop not connected to the company’s grid system. “We took immediate action to isolate the laptop and alerted federal officials of this finding. Our team is working with federal officials to trace this malware and prevent any other attempts to infiltrate utility systems. We have briefed state officials and will support the investigation fully,” the statement said.

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin lashed out at the Russian government, saying in a statement, “Vermonters and all Americans should be both alarmed and outraged that one of the world’s leading thugs, Vladimir Putin, has been attempting to hack our electric grid, which we rely upon to support our quality-of-life, economy, health, and safety.”

Vermont Public Radio reported on the hacking incident, quoting the state’s Public Service Commissioner as saying the hack never threatened the power grid.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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