WAPO’s Fake Story on Hacking Electrical Grid

WAPO’s Fake Story on Hacking Electrical Grid | Single laptop had malware, Post declared entire electrical grid at risk

Russian operation hacked a Vermont utility, showing risk to U.S. electrical grid security, officials say.” That was the headline at the Washington Post for a story which in reality did not involve hacking a utility, risking a grid, or even really Russians, above and beyond the nominal attribution of any malware to Russia these days.

The story stems from a report last night that a single laptop, owned by the Burlington, Vermont power company but not connected to anything, had become infected with malware sort of similar to what targeted the Democrats during the 2016 election campaign. And since we’re blaming Russia for that, we’re blaming Russia for this, by God.

But the laptop wasn’t critical infrastructure, wasn’t connected to anything in the grid, and there’s no evidence the malware did anything to it anyhow. Even putting aside the tenuous Russia link, officials like the Vermont Public Service Commissioner were quick to point out that the grid was not in danger in any way.

The Washington Post, however, hunted for a story, and got Vermont’s Governor Peter Shumlin to condemn Putin as “one of the world’s leading thugs,” and accused him of “attempting to hack our electric grid.” Shumlin and other top Vermont Democrats were only too willing to issue statements based on the Washington Post’s allegations, and the Washington Post was only too willing to keep the echo chamber going.

In the end, the Washington Post kept the false story up, but added an Editor’s Note admitting that there was no indication the grid was penetrated, and noting that the computer was not attached to the grid. The note was added way at the bottom of the long, hysterical story.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.

  • Valerianus Maximus

    Next the story will be that the Rooskies are hacking our water supply with fluoride.

    • Cerberus79

      They are responsible for the Flint, MI water scandal.
      Obama told me. Would he lie?

      • Valerianus Maximus

        Yes, he would, especially to you. 😉

    • Caesar_Saladin

      I do not deny Russian women my company- they sense my power and they seek me out- but I do deny them my essence. God willing, we shall prevail over our enemies through the strength and purity of our precious bodily fluids.

      • Mikronos

        Kramer called that ‘the Kevorka’ and Putin is a practitioner.

    • lordbaldric

      What?!? Is the Purity of Essence of my bodily fluids in danger?

      • Paul
    • Paul

      They’re sapping and impurifying all our precious bodily fluids!!!

  • lemur

    If “hacking the grid” over the Internet were even possible, people in charge should be fired with extreme prejudice. Because that’s just not how things are done or should be set up.

    • I generally go with the presumption that ANY prominent politician is likely gangster-spook-scum of the lowest order. That presumption is in theory rebuttable, but is seldom convincingly rebutted.

      As far as influencing elections go, most states do a certain amount of that to other states and the US seems to be the most frequent and flagrant example. But so far we’ve been offered no real evidence that Putin and the Russian state used hacking/cyber warfare to do so in this case.

      • Don

        The thing is Thomas, the Russians very well could have been involved. Wouldn’t they be pretty silly to sit back and allow the US to interfere in their politics, economy, and their wellbeing hundreds of times without doing some of their own. This is the scam that is working for your country and there’s likely not much we can do about it. Fortunately, those of us who are informed on how it’s all being handled in Russia are confident that the US can and will play all the propaganda games it wishes. Russia is resigned to separating it’s interests from the West and especially the US. You and others can take solace in the fact that they are feeling very secure in their position.

        Can it be stopped? Regardless of Trump and the bill of goods he sold to the American lowlife, he is not going to act against the interests of the majority and risk harming his status. That means, he’s not going to be cooperative with Russia. And it also means, fwiw, he’s not going to attempt to pull off any of the other ignorant and stupid things he proposed, in order to capture the hearts and minds of the idiots who believed in him. No wall, no deportations, no peace with Russia, no nothing unless it’s popular with the majority.
        And that pretty well wraps it up for Trump. All he needs to do now is be a good salesman and pretend he’s fulfilling his promises. He will because he’s good at that.
        And that Thomas, is the reason I always maintained that Raimondo was taken for a ride!

        luv from Canada.

  • Dan

    The ‘tenuos Russian link’ actually leads to Ukraine. The Russians are laughing because this code was developed by Ukraine hackers. Its also currently available on the web if you have the money to pay for it. The code found in Vermont was also quite out-of-date. Again, the Russians are laughing that their spies would probnably be using an up-to-date version, assuming of course that they bought their hacking tools from the Ukrainians instead of developing their own.

    • EME

      Dan, you make a good point.

      The slugs on the WAPO assume the folks who read the garbage they dump in their pig trough aren’t smart enough to walk and chew gum at the same time.

  • richardstevenhack

    The infosec community needs to start jumping down the mainstream media throat for not reporting as a matter of standard background that “malware” is meaningless. Anyone can get anyone else’s malware and use it for their own ends. That someone used some Russian’s malware to do something does NOT mean Russians did it absent any – and substantial – additional evidence.

    Like the Russians give a damn about VERMONT, for God’s sakes! Even the US doesn’t give a damn about Vermont. 🙂

  • MvGuy

    Shame on the low-information governor peter slumin….. Makes America look stupid….

    • curmudgeonvt

      He was/is a staunch Hillary supporter – instead of Vermont’s own Sanders, which is why many believe he chose not to run for Governor again. I think “the nose” was betting on a cushy DC job under a Clinton administration and ended up burning a lot of covered bridges in the process.

    • Don

      Trust me McGuy, America is looking very stupid right now. Both on the domestic scene and also to the rest of the world. And although Hillary was so horrible, the implications of Trump and how he’s going to react to Putin/Russia showing commitment and strength, the rest of the world is holding it’ breathe.

      Trump is not going to show any cooperation with Putin or Russia. That was only another of his scams and his lies he used with the stupid people who were taken in by his silly game. Time to figure it out folks, before Trump turns some of the US led wars in the ME into much bigger wars.

      luv from Canada.

  • Caesar_Saladin

    Where’s the sacrificial scapegoat? How did Russians get their hands on a Vermont Utility laptop and who did they get it from? Why isn’t the person who was responsible for the laptop being strung up by his Buster Browns for letting such a sensitive piece of equipment fall into Russian hands? Who is responsible?

  • WakaWakaWackyWorld

    Should we begin the mass boycott of Amazon.com to teach Bezos a civic lesson?

  • Don

    Much too little protesting from Americans, and much too late. The Putin/Russia hate is sticking and Trump will simply follow along with the momentum. Anything he said that convinced idiots like Raimondo will not be maintained when he finds Americans aren’t with him.

    What a mess the US has created throughout the world and what a ignorant and corrupt bastard they have decided to make their new leader.

    luv from Canada.

  • Mikronos

    Somebody’s been watching the “we deflower Polish Virgins’ live pay-per-view web site – and getting more for their money than they thought.

  • Andrew_Nichols

    This piece of warmongering crap also got syndicated to NZ and Aus just as similar BS was disseminated in 1913/14 and we all know what happened after that. F..king media.