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Vermont utility system detects code tied to Russian hacking

A laptop associated with a Vermont electric agency, the Burlington Electric Department, was found on Friday to contain code linked to a Russian hacking campaign known as Grizzly Steppe. The laptop, which was not connected to the electric grid, was immediately isolated and the rest of the department's computers placed under investigation.

"Our team is working with federal officials to trace this malware and prevent any other attempts to infiltrate utility systems," Mike Kanarick, a representative of the utility, said in a statement. "We have briefed state officials and will support the investigation fully."

The goal of Grizzly Steppe remains undetermined, and the laptop may have become infected without any Russian action, e.g. by contact with an untrustworthy website. "This intrusion by itself was a minor incident that caused no damage," an unnamed senior intelligence official told Reuters.