Washington Post Blows Story on Vermont Utility, Russia

The Washington Post trumpeted a story that initially was headlined “Russian hackers penetrated U.S. electricity grid through a utility in Vermont.” The story was obviously intended to contribute to the “election hacking” hysteria that the Democrats have ginned up, arising from the intrusion by persons unknown into Debbie Wasserman-Schultz’s email account. But the Post blew the story: it turned out that malware was found on a laptop owned by Burlington Electric that was not connected to the grid at all.

Moreover, if you read to the very end of the Post’s story–past a series of inflammatory quotes by Democratic politicians–you learn this:

Since at least 2009, U.S. authorities have tracked efforts by China, Russia and other countries to implant malicious software inside computers used by U.S. utilities. It is unclear if the code used in those earlier attacks was similar to what was found in the Vermont case. In November 2014, for example, federal authorities reported that a Russian malware known as BlackEnergy had been detected in the software controlling electric turbines in the United States.

The vulnerability of our electric grid to sabotage of various kinds has been an issue for a long time. I have no idea whether adequate measures are being taken to protect the grid or not, but this story has little to do with that. It mostly has to do with the Democrats’ trying to make excuses for their electoral failures, and to create diversions for the incoming Trump administration.

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