On Friday, an electric utility company in Vermont confirmed that it had found Russia-linked malware on a company laptop.
According to the Associated Press, the Burlington Electric Department found a malware code that was connected with Grizzly Steppe, the name the Department of Homeland Security gave to the Russian campaign linked to recent hacks. After finding the malware, the company took immediate steps to “isolate” the laptop and contacted federal officials.
U.S. utilities around the country had been alerted to the code on Thursday by Homeland Security.
“This attack shows how rampant Russian hacking is. It’s systemic, relentless, predatory,” Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) said in a statement. “They will hack everywhere, even Vermont, in pursuit of opportunities to disrupt our country.”
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said the most recent detection of malware “goes beyond hackers having electronic joy rides.”
In a statement to the Associated Press, the company said, “Our team is working with federal officials to trace this malware and prevent any other attempts to infiltrate utility systems.”
Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin also made a statement about the malware, saying, “Vermonters and all Americans should be both alarmed and outraged that one of the world’s leading thugs, (Russian President) Vladimir Putin, has been attempting to hack our electric grid, which we rely upon to support our quality-of-life, economy, health, and safety.”
He added that this hacking should push the federal government to “vigorously pursue and put an end to this sort of Russian meddling.”