Washington Post Publishes False News Story About Russians Hacking Electrical Grid

The headquarters of the Russian Federal Security Service in downtown Moscow. FSB has been accused by U.S. officials of meddling in the 2016 presidential election through cyberattacks

The Washington Post first reported the finding, suggesting that Russian hackers had gained access to the electrical grid via the Vermont utility, however the company's statement says there's no indication that happened.

After being alerted last night by the Department of Homeland Security about malware code used in Grizzly Steppe, Russia's hacking campaign against USA political institutions, Burlington Electric Department performed a scan, the utility said in a statement. It said it scanned its computer network and found the malware after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security sent out an alert about the code to owners and operators of critical infrastructure. Burlington Electric later issued a statement confirming the malware was discovered on one of its computers, but noting that the device was not connected to the grid.

It is unclear what the intent was in delivering the malware.

American officials, including one senior administration official, said they are not yet sure what the intentions of the Russians might have been. "We have briefed state officials and will support the investigation fully", the statement said.

The team of hackers was also responsible for cyberattacks on utility grids that caused unprecedented blackouts in Ukraine, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has vehemently denied all hacking allegations

"Last night, US 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", a spokesman for the Burlington Electric Department said.

President Barack Obama's administration Thursday slapped sanctions on Russia for the intrusion and ordered the expulsion of 35 Russian operatives. Authorities shared the code with 16 sectors nationwide, including the financial, utility and transport sectors.

While U.S. lawmakers of both parties have backed Obama's actions, President-elect Donald Trump has expressed skepticism at the conclusion of intelligence agencies that Russian Federation was behind the pilfering and the steady release of e-mails in an effort to damage his campaign opponent Hillary Clinton.

Russian Federation is widely considered responsible by USA officials and private-sector security experts for a December 2015 hack of Ukraine's power grid that knocked out the lights for about 250,000 people.

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