Evidence of Russian hacking has been detected in a Vermont utility system, a company spokesman confirmed Friday night.
A representative of Burlington Electric Department said in statement that a Russian campaign linked to recent cyberattacks had breached a single laptop within the utility, though it was not connected to the organization’s electrical grids.
“We took immediate action to isolate the laptop and alerted federal officials of this finding,” Mike Kanarick, a spokesman for the utility, said in the statement. “Our team is working with federal officials to trace this malware and prevent any other attempts to infiltrate utility systems.”
The intent of the Russian hacking operation, known as Grizzly Steppe by the Obama administration, has yet to be determined, but the breach could signal vulnerabilities within the American electrical grid. The penetration, first reported by the Washington Post, which cited U.S. officials including at least one senior administration official, could also signal an attempt to test Russian capability to disrupt other utilities.
Kanarick indicated that state officials, in addition to the Department of Homeland Security, had been briefed on the matter and that the utility organization would fully support the investigation into the breach.