Code associated with Russia hacking found on Vermont utility computer
Published: 2016-12-31 12:32:35.0 BdST Updated: 2016-12-31 13:01:48.0 BdST
A code associated with a broad Russian hacking campaign dubbed Grizzly Steppe by the Obama administration has been detected on a laptop associated with a Vermont electric utility but not connected to the grid, the utility said on Friday.
"We took immediate action to isolate the laptop and alerted federal officials of this finding," the Burlington Electric Department said in a statement.
"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."
The Department of Homeland Security alerted utilities on Thursday night about a malware code used in Grizzly Steppe, the Burlington Electric Department said.
"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," it said.
The matched malware code on the laptop may have resulted from a relatively benign episode, such as visiting a questionable website, a source familiar with the matter said, suggesting Russian hackers may not have been directly involved.
It was not clear when the incident occurred.
On Thursday, President Barack Obama ordered the expulsion of 35 Russian suspected spies and imposed sanctions on two Russian intelligence agencies over their involvement in hacking US political groups in the 2016 presidential election.
The statement came after a Washington Post report that Russian hackers penetrated a Vermont utility. Government and utility industry officials regularly monitor the nation's electrical grid because it is highly computerised and any disruptions can have disastrous implications for the functioning of medical and emergency services, the Post said.
A senior Obama administration official said the administration had sought in its sanctions announcement on Thursday to alert "all network defenders" in the United States so they could "defend against Russian malicious cyber activity."
The Department of Homeland Security did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
"This intrusion by itself was a minor incident that caused no damage," a US intelligence official familiar with the incident and critical of Russian actions said on Friday night.
"However, we are taking it seriously because it has been tracked to familiar entities involved in a much broader and government-directed campaign in cyberspace and because the electric grid is a vulnerable and interconnected part of the nation's critical infrastructure," the official said.
Russia is widely considered responsible by US 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. That hack prompted National Security Agency chief Mike Rogers to say at a conference in March that it was a "matter of when, not if" a cyber adversary carried out a similar attack against the United States.
Any unauthorised use or reproduction of bdnews24.com content for commercial purposes is strictly prohibited and constitutes copyright infringement liable to legal action.
- Samsung launches Galaxy S8 and dreams of recovery from Note 7
- Samsung Electronics says to sell refurbished Galaxy Note 7 phones
- Uber resumes self-driving programme in Tempe, Pittsburgh after crash
- Uber suspends self-driving car program after Arizona crash
- Germany blocked Russian hacking attacks in 2016
- Twitter explores subscription-based option for first time
- YouTube's bid to grab TV dollars imperiled by advertiser revolt'
- Apple drives further into Facebook, Snap territory with video app
- Twitter suspended more than 636,000 accounts since 2015 to tackle extremism
- G20 to jointly fight bank sector hacking
- Security forces launch operation on terror den in Moulvibazar
- Security forces raiding two militant hideouts in Moulvibazar
- Police move to raid 'militant hideout' in Comilla
- Section 144 clamped around two suspected Moulvibazar militant hideouts
- SWAT team heading for Moulvibazar terror dens, army if needed, says home minister
- Former Indian army veterans all praise for Bangladesh para-commandos
- Bangladesh Bank heist was 'state-sponsored': US official
- Police inspector in Bogra found hanging at home
- RAB intel chief, injured in Sylhet blasts, to be brought back from Singapore
- Pakistan not sending team to IPU Assembly in Bangladesh