1. TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users. Ask a question and give support. Join the community here.
    TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users.
    Ask a question and give support.
    Join the community here, it only takes a minute.
    Dismiss Notice

Evidence of Russian malware found on Vermont utility computer

By Shawn Knight · 25 replies
Jan 1, 2017
Post New Reply
  1. As if tension between the United States and Russia wasn’t already high enough, government officials recently disclosed that they’ve found evidence of Russian malware on a computer belonging to a Vermont utility company.

    Burlington Electric Department (BED), an electric utility provider in Burlington, Vermont, said in a press release last Friday that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) alerted US-based utilities of a malware code used in a Russian hacking campaign dubbed Grizzly Steppe.

    Acting on the intelligence, the utility said it scanned all computers in its system and found the malware on a single laptop that was not connected to their grid system. Immediate action was taken to isolate the infected machine, the BED said. They also alerted federal authorities.

    In a follow-up on New Year’s Eve, the utility added that federal officials told them that the specific type of Internet traffic related to the malicious activity they reported a day earlier has also been observed elsewhere in the country and thus, is not unique to BED. What’s more, the utility ensured that there is no indication that the electric grid or customer information was compromised as a result of the malware infection.

    In a public statement on the matter, Vermont senator Patrick Leahy said the attack is beyond hackers having electronic joy rides as they’re now trying to access utilities to potentially manipulate the grid and shut it down in the middle of winter. It’s a direct threat to Vermont which the senator said is something they do not take lightly.

    Image courtesy Kevin Lamarque, Reuters

    Permalink to story.

  2. Camikazi

    Camikazi TS Evangelist Posts: 978   +324

    A SINGLE laptop not connected to the network, seems to me someone was searching for porn and got a virus and not any explicit type of hacking. But, any excuse to try and blame Russia these days. I bet if you were to check the browsing history it would be squeaky clean, which is a sign.
  3. EClyde

    EClyde TS Evangelist Posts: 1,720   +614

    Yea, right. It's a plant. I promise
  4. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,812   +1,328

    First they claim they have evidence of something, then they find it weeks if not months later. What am I missing?
  5. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,269   +1,722

    this is something entirely different.
  6. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,812   +1,328

    Shiieet I misread the entire thing.
  7. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,208   +4,876

    So what? Are we going to mutate this voter fraud into something new just to keep it alive?
    Wendig0 likes this.
  8. OneArmedScissor

    OneArmedScissor TS Enthusiast Posts: 50   +7

    1) Washington Post caused this "story" to go viral with a false headline, or we wouldn't have heard a word of it, but before this was even posted, they had already retracted it...just like the last time they falsely blamed Russian hackers, with no proof. Great job of following up, instead of parroting known liars. Read the "correction" right at the top:


    2) The "Russian" malware claimed to be part of "Grizzly Steppe" is actually from the Ukraine, is outdated, and is available to anyone that wants to buy it, or anyone dumb enough to infect their personal laptop which has nothing to do with an electrical grid beyond being plugged into it. Isn't this a tech site? I guess I was mistaken.


    3) If you want to report on hacking for political means, where's the coverage of how DHS hacked into the Georgia voter registration database 10 times, and admits to it? Uh oh. Suddenly the Russian / Ukrainian / Chinese / 15 year old kid who could have phished John Podesta / whatever narrative it is tomorrow has more holes in it than a cheese grater.



    4) The claims that it was an attempt by the Russian government to manipulate the US electrical grid come exclusively from the angels of Earth who are uniquely free of ulterior motives and sociopathic tendencies. Yes, politicians. Never question them. Remember that time Iraq had WMDs? Or that time the NSA was only collecting "metadata?" Or that time Hillary's email server had no classified information? Or that time politicians repealed the domestic propaganda ban in the 2013 NDAA?


    TechSpot is fake news. Removed from favorites. Goodbye forever.
  9. skipmichael

    skipmichael TS Enthusiast Posts: 46   +19

    FAKE NEWS: Washington Post retracted this story. It was fake from the start. The WP is just trying to cause trouble.
    Zoner1501, Sorter, dms96960 and 3 others like this.
  10. Bigtruckseries

    Bigtruckseries TS Evangelist Posts: 583   +322

    I have Russian and Chinese malware on my computer.

    Explain how they hacked the election when I got up - walked to my voting booth and voted for Trump...

    O right: "fake news"

    ADIOS Obama....
  11. RzmmDX

    RzmmDX TS Guru Posts: 313   +67

    ... Good job WP.

    You're now listed as a fake news site.
  12. I knew sooner or later Shawn or Rob was going to get someone to rage quit TS. It was bound to happen.
  13. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,208   +4,876

    And only after 50 comments, that was quick.
  14. Kotters

    Kotters TS Maniac Posts: 330   +223

    Old Ukrainian malware on a shitty old laptop, an orchestrated government attack does not make.

    Why the hell is this site reporting political fake news, anyway?
    Zoner1501 likes this.
  15. seeprime

    seeprime TS Guru Posts: 354   +383

    The email hacks happened in 2015. They were laughed about by Hillary. When she lost, suddenly the Russians were to blame for email hacks that happened long ago and were posted on Wikileaks. The DNC doesn't understand today's world. They need to wake up and accept that they missed the importance of the hacks, when they happened.
    namesrejected likes this.
  16. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,555   +1,924

    Yet another fake TS Trump shill reader gone. Taking yourself out. What a way to clean house. Three cheers to you!

    There is nothing in the link you posted that says that the story was fake. You claim that WP admitted the story was fake. Did you even read the article, or you just so infatuated with Trump that you assumed that "correction" means "we planted a fake article for your enjoyment and as an April Fools Joke four months in advance"?

    Here is what the correction says:
    In fact, TS has reported this correctly. However, expecting the trees on this site to see the forest is too much - especially if it might mean that something is not quite right with Herr Trump.
    Evernessince likes this.
  17. aMerkuri

    aMerkuri TS Enthusiast Posts: 54   +19

    Zoner1501 and CaptainTom like this.
  18. ManuelV

    ManuelV TS Addict Posts: 123   +57

    It may be just one laptop, but it is a laptop of mass destruction, lets invade something and create a mess where almost a million people die and tens of millions get afected... just saying an idea...
  19. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,653   +2,976

    Um, no. This is not something you get from dubious websites, it's not even something that's out in the wild

    https://www.us-cert.gov/sites/default/files/publications/JAR_16-20296A_GRIZZLY STEPPE-2016-1229.pdf

    If you took the time to read the assessment, you'd realize that Grizzly Steppe is a targeted.

    Because fake news articles are based on US intelligence briefings, at least according to Trump supporters. Can't blame then, Trump himself doesn't attend intelligence briefings either.

    Unfortunately these people say they are going to leave but stay anyways. It's like that whole "special snowflake" terminology. They like to call out others for not being able to tolerate a bit of dissention all the while they cannot refuse to comment on an article they don't like. Like Trump, they are Hypocrites.
  20. Kotters

    Kotters TS Maniac Posts: 330   +223

  21. Impudicus

    Impudicus TS Booster Posts: 101   +49

    I have, in the past, found american malware on my pc. Does this mean the united states is hacking me? There has also been Russian malware. Double agents? is there a third party trying to pit the United States against Russia? Or is there just malware all over the dam place produced by the U.S.A by Russia, China...
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  22. Here's a pro tip from one of the people who correctly predicted the election, the media coverage, and the reactions re: Trump since his first speech in 2015:

    Don't rely on fake news as a source. It always comes back to make you look foolish and, for a tech website, damages your credibility.

    Here's the WaPo, a fake news site, flipping the script on this narrative after some actual attempt at journalism has been attempted. Preliminary investigation into the thought of performing journalism, I'm assuming: https://www.washingtonpost.com/worl...6f69a399dd5_story.html?utm_term=.76d10671d07a

    Here's another pro tip:

    Anything any fake news outlet says first about Trump, Russia, or Barack Obama isn't true. Every second claim is also untrue. Every third will attempt to correct the double fault with a convenient excuse no sane person would accept. The sequence will end with the fourth statement, wherein it is claimed that other sources are faker.

    This pattern is more reliable than the sun rise, which is occasionally obscured by weather.
  23. Camikazi

    Camikazi TS Evangelist Posts: 978   +324

    Neale Lunderville, Burlington Electric Department's General Manager, the person who is in charge and who investigated the computer says the employee most likely got the virus from a website and it is similar to viruses that normal people get at home and not a targeted attack. Maybe he is covering something up, maybe he isn't, but he would still know better than you.
  24. That was great davislane1! This one gave me a good laugh! :)

    As of today, 01/03/2017, I still don't see TechSpot retracting their FAKE post. Come on Shawn Knight, get this corrected....and stop listening to Rob - he'll do you both in.
  25. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,653   +2,976

    You do realize that without a link, you are merely paraphrasing hearsay, which is worth dirt.

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...