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Vermont electric utility to find malware code attributed to Russians

BURLINGTON, Vt. – A state power company confirmed on Friday it was on one of the laptops a malware code of the united states government says that is used by Russian hackers.

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

Burlington Electric, which is municipal property, said that it detected malware in a laptop is not connected to the grid systems. It said it has “immediate action to isolate the laptop and former federal officials.”

“Our team is working with federal officials to identify this malware and prevent any attempts to infiltrate utility systems,” he said in a statement via e-mail.

It said it had informed state officials and would fully support an investigation into the potential Russian hack. Russia, which is accused of interfering in the U.S. presidential election by the hacking of the U.s. political web sites and e-mail accounts, has denied hacking into U.S. systems.

Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin said his administration was in contact with the federal government and the state of the utilities.

“Vermonters and all Americans should be both alarmed and shocked that one of the world’s leading criminals, (the Russian President Vladimir Putin, is an attempt to hack into our electrical grid that we depend on to support our quality-of-life, the economy, health and safety,” he said in a statement.

He said that the hacking of the episode, the emphasis on the urgent need for the federal government to “vigorously and put an end to this kind of Russian interference.”

Burlington Electric, which says it is “in the forefront of the green energy revolution”, is one of the state’s two largest electric utilities. The other Colchester-based Green Mountain Power, said to protect its systems.

“Our teams have done a complete systems check and found no security concerns,” he said.

Green Mountain Power, which serves about 265,000 residential and business customers, said it recently was thoroughly reviewed for safety by Homeland Security. It said that it would continue to strictly monitor the systems and remain vigilant.”

 

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