'The Grid Was Not in Danger': Media Raced to Publish Story on Russia Hacking Our Power Grid Before the Facts

Cortney O'Brien
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Posted: Dec 31, 2016 9:30 AM
'The Grid Was Not in Danger': Media Raced to Publish Story on Russia Hacking Our Power Grid Before the Facts

Well, the media has done it again. Their eagerness to report on Russian hacking exceeded their desire to read all the details. On Friday, The Washington Post reported that Russia had compromised the U.S. power grid through a utility company in Vermont, according to the Department of Homeland Security. Once the company, The Burlington Electric Department, actually responded, it turns out the situation was not quite as dire as all that. Vermont Public Service Commissioner Christopher Recchia explained what happened in a statement.

Based on his knowledge, Recchia said Friday night he did not believe the electrical power grid was at risk from the incident. "The grid is not in danger," Recchia said. "The utility flagged it, saw it, notified appropriate parties and isolated that one laptop with that malware on it."

The Washington Post updated its headline accordingly: “Russian operation hacked a Vermont utility, showing risk to U.S. electrical grid security, officials say.”

Investigations are still underway, however, into the supposed hacking of our 2016 election. President Obama said he'd seen and heard enough of the cyberattack threat to justify sanctions against Russia, including the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin decided against an immediate retaliation - a decision which President-elect Donald Trump praised on Twitter.