Washington Post Retracts Story About Russian Hackers Penetrating US Electricity Grid

Those anonymous U.S. officials who reported Russian hacking code had been found “within the system” of a Vermont power utility must’ve been surprised to learn the code was on a laptop that wasn’t actually connected to the grid. The Washington Post has updated their original story, which now reports that “authorities” say there’s no indication that Russian hackers have penetrated the U.S. electric grid.

The Post’s newly-edited version now appears below (with their original and now-deleted text preseved inside brackets).

A code associated with the Russian hacking operation dubbed Grizzly Steppe by the Obama administration has been detected within the system of a Vermont utility, according to U.S. officials. While the Russians did not actively use the code to disrupt operations of the utility, according to officials who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss a security matter, the discovery underscores the vulnerabilities of the nation’s electrical grid… [Was “the penetration of the nation’s electrical grid is significant because it represents a potentially serious vulnerability.”]

American officials, including one senior administration official, said they are not yet sure what the intentions of the Russians might have been. The incursion [was “penetration”] may have been designed to disrupt the utility’s operations or as a test by the Russians to see whether they could penetrate a portion of the grid… According to the report by the FBI and DHS, the hackers involved in the Russian operation used fraudulent emails that tricked their recipients into revealing passwords.
The Vermont utility does report that they’d “detected suspicious Internet traffic” on the laptop, but they believe subsequent news coverage got the story wrong. “It’s unfortunate that an official or officials improperly shared inaccurate information with one media outlet, leading to multiple inaccurate reports around the country.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.