WaPo Reports Fake News: Vermont And U.S. Electric Grid Was NOT Hacked By The Russians [VIDEO]

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WaPo Reports Fake News: Vermont And U.S. Electric Grid Was NOT Hacked By The Russians [VIDEO]

WaPo Reports Fake News: Vermont And U.S. Electric Grid Was NOT Hacked By The Russians [VIDEO]

Just in time for New Years Eve, the Washington Post breathlessly reported that ZOMG!! The Russians hacked the entire…I mean the ENTIRE electrical grid across the United States. Here’s the original story title courtesy of The Daily Caller: “Russian hackers penetrated U.S. electricity grid through a utility in Vermont, officials say.”

And the media/crowd went wild.

Friday night, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) called on federal officials “to conduct a full and complete investigation of this incident and undertake remedies to ensure that this never happens again.”


Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) said he was briefed on the attempts to penetrate the electric grid by Vermont State Police on Friday evening. “This is beyond hackers having electronic joy rides — this is now about trying to access utilities to potentially manipulate the grid and shut it down in the middle of winter,” Leahy said in a statement. “That is a direct threat to Vermont and we do not take it lightly.”

There’s only one problem with all of this. The attack on the entire US electric grid or a single Vermont utility… DIDN’T HAPPEN.

“Last night, U.S. 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,” said Mike Kanarick, spokesman for Burlington Electric Department. “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. We took immediate action to isolate the laptop and alerted federal officials of this finding. 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.” [Emphasis Added]

Did you notice anything about that statement from the Burlington Electric Department? That’s right, exactly one laptop had malware in it. ONE.

Not only that…but the Washington Post didn’t check their facts!

Politico cybersecurity reporter Eric Geller said about the Post story, “Pretty amazing how badly the Post appears to have mangled this one. You didn’t call the Vermont utility regulator before publishing?”

WOW. EPIC FAIL on their parts. So what do they do? Change the headline but neglect to mention in the story that only ONE laptop was involved. So they are still doubling down on the stupid.

Here’s the deal folks.

For the Putin and the Russians or anyone else to hack the electric grid across the US (China anyone???) they would have to run separate hacks for every single utility and REA across the country. They are not connected …. PERIOD. Each runs on its own system. So hackers from Russia, China, or someone’s basement, would have to run separate hacks across a multitude of systems to make this work. Is it possible? Yes. In fact Ted Koppel wrote a book about it called “Lights Out” that highlights how vulnerable our grid really is.

I’ve known for years how vulnerable ALL our systems are. I’ve worked in the industry. Our power grid IS VULNERABLE and we are a long ways away from ensuring they are protected as much as possible.

However, the Washington Post’s “story” puts a whole crapload of smoke where there’s no fire. Irresponsible reporting of Fake News at its “finest.” Heckuva job WAPO. Heckuva job.

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1 Comment
  • GWB says:

    potentially manipulate the grid and shut it down in the middle of winter

    Well, you know, if we could put in wood fireplaces and wood stoves when we build or renovate houses, this wouldn’t be nearly such of a problem, now would IT?

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