A code associated with a broad Russian hacking campaign dubbed Grizzly Steppe by the Obama administration has been detected on a laptop associated with a Vermont electric utility but not connected to the grid, the utility said on Friday.
"We took immediate action to isolate the laptop and alerted federal officials of this finding," the Burlington Electric Department said in a statement.
"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."
The Department of Homeland Security alerted utilities on Thursday night about a malware code used in Grizzly Steppe, the Burlington Electric Department said.
"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," it said.
The matched malware code on the laptop may have resulted from a relatively benign episode, such as visiting a questionable website, a source familiar with the matter said, suggesting Russian hackers may not have been directly involved.
It was not clear when the incident occurred.