- Associated Press - Saturday, December 31, 2016

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) - Vermont U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy says the discovery of a malware code used by Russian hackers on a Vermont utility’s laptop is the latest example that state-sponsored Russian hacking is a serious threat.

The Burlington Electric Department said Friday it detected the malware in a laptop not connected to its grid systems. It says it took immediate action to isolate the laptop and alerted federal officials.

Leahy, a Democrat, says he and his staff were briefed by Vermont State Police on Friday night. He says the incident goes “beyond hackers having electronic joy rides” and that trying to potentially manipulate the electric grid and shut it down is a direct threat to Vermont.

Russia also has been accused of interfering in the U.S. presidential election. It has denied hacking U.S. systems.

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