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Russian hackers infiltrate Vermont electric utility company: officials

Posted: 11:03 PM, Dec 30, 2016
Updated: 2016-12-30 23:13:59-05

VERMONT — A Vermont electric utility has confirmed it found on one of its laptops a malware code the U.S. government says is used by Russian hackers.

The Burlington Electric Department says U.S. utilities were alerted by the Department of Homeland Security of a malware code used in Grizzly Steppe, the name Homeland Security has applied to a Russian campaign linked to recent hacks.

Burlington Electric says it detected the malware in a laptop not connected to its grid systems. It says it took “immediate action to isolate the laptop and alerted federal officials.”

The utility says its team is working with federal officials to trace the malware and prevent other attempts to infiltrate utility systems.

Colchester-based electric company Green Mountain Power says its systems are secure. It said Friday a complete systems check found “no security concerns.”

Russia has denied hacking U.S. systems.

The company released the following statement on their Facebook page:

Last night, U.S. utilities were alerted by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) of a malware code used in Grizzly Steppe, the name DHS has applied to a Russian campaign linked to recent hacks. We acted quickly to scan all computers in our system for the malware signature. We detected the malware in a single Burlington Electric Department laptop not connected to our organization’s grid systems. 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.