Washington Post Admits Its 'Russians Hacked A US Utility' Story Was 'Fake News'

Tyler Durden's picture

Over the weekend we noted that the Washington Post was caught spreading "fake news" about an alleged attempt by "Russian hackers" to take over a Vermont Utility (see "Washington Post Caught Spreading More Fake News About 'Russian Hackers'").  Within hours of reporting that the "Russian hackers" had gained access to the electrical grid, the Burlington Electric Department in Vermont had to issue a statement confirming that the provocative Wapo story simply wasn't true and that a laptop found to be infected with malware was never actually connected to the grid.  An embarrassed Wapo was subsequently forced to change it's sensationalized headline and publish a retraction.

Now, as they often do, it appears this Wapo "fake news" rabbit holes gets even deeper.  Not only are "federal officials" now confirming that "Russian hackers" never targeted the Vermont electrical grid, but the whole mishap was derived from an employee's attempt to check his Yahoo email account which, as Wapo reports, resulted in his computer connecting to a "suspicious IP address" that is "found elsewhere in the country suggesting the company wasn't being targeted by Russians."


Moreover, not only was the malware not linked to a specific attempt of "Russian hackers" to penetrate the U.S. electrical grid, the software in question isn't even linked to the "Grizzly Steppe" group that the Obama administration says is behind the DNC and John Podesta email hacks.  Of course, this is a direct contradiction to the opening paragraph of Wapo's original story which directly connected the Vermont "hack" back to "Grizzly Steppe"...apparently with no evidence whatsoever.

U.S. officials are continuing to investigate the laptop. In the course of their investigation, though, they have found on the device a package of software tools commonly used by online criminals to deliver malware. The package, known as Neutrino, does not appear to be connected with Grizzly Steppe, which U.S. officials have identified as the Russian hacking operation. The FBI, which declined to comment, is continuing to investigate how the malware got onto the laptop.

Wapo goes on to point out that the "murkiness of the information" makes it difficult to relay meaningful information to the public about alleged "hackings." 

The murkiness of the information underlines the difficulties faced by officials as they try to root out Grizzly Steppe and share with the public their findings on how the operation works. Experts say the situation was made worse by a recent government report, which they described as a genuine effort to share information with the industry but criticized as rushed and prone to causing confusion. Authorities also were leaking information about the utility without having all the facts and before law enforcement officials were able to investigate further.

Here's an idea, how about you simply avoid reporting "murky" information until you have all the facts?  But that wouldn't help advance your "Russian hacking" narrative now would it?

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NugginFuts's picture

Oops. "But believe me when I say we'll get the important things right."

Badsamm's picture

Are they banned from Fakebook?

Holy hand grenade of Antioch's picture
Holy hand grenade of Antioch (not verified) Badsamm Jan 3, 2017 11:02 AM

You won't see this on any of the Evening News broadcasts tonight. The lead story, instead, will probably be something about Putin killing jewish puppies & kittens.

Looney's picture

Which publication produces more Fake News?

<<<   The Washington Post

<<<   The National Enquirer

Looney   ;-)

WordSmith2013's picture

The WashPo can't get out of its own way ... and is goin down---BIG TIME ! ! !




The Fifth Estate Casts Its Shadow Like a Massive Mothership
NoDebt's picture

Not sure if it's the same where you guys work, but whenever something goes wrong with any piece of technology around my office it's become usual and customary to lay blame for the failure on "Russian Hackers".

To wit:

"Dave, did you see the email I sent you yesterday?"

"No, what email?"

"The one I sent you about the new client."

"Russian hackers, dude.  Sorry, I didn't get it."

We have also had our fax machine, phone system and coffee maker hacked by the Russians over the last several months.  Tricky bastards are EVERYWHERE.



ThirteenthFloor's picture

Did you see any dancing Israelis outside the building when the fax phone and coffee machines went dark ?

Holy hand grenade of Antioch's picture
Holy hand grenade of Antioch (not verified) ThirteenthFloor Jan 3, 2017 11:21 AM

It was "Dancing Arabs" (according to Trump's son in law)... Try to get your fake news facts straight.

Draybin Deffercon III's picture
Draybin Deffercon III (not verified) Holy hand grenade of Antioch Jan 3, 2017 11:35 AM

Hey asshole... you ever going to enlighten me about what laws I have broken?

Draybin Deffercon III's picture
Draybin Deffercon III (not verified) ILIKEMITTENS Jan 3, 2017 12:23 PM

No but he was in the other thread accusing me of being a criminal.

beemasters's picture

If only I get a bitcoin every time someone, unable to string a proper argument, insulted me in ZH, I would be richer than Warren Buffet now. :) Just take it as a lesson not to do the same to others and let it go.

Holy hand grenade of Antioch's picture
Holy hand grenade of Antioch (not verified) Draybin Deffercon III Jan 3, 2017 1:32 PM

"Hey asshole... you ever going to enlighten me about what laws I have broken?"





Draybin Defferc... Ignatius Jan 3, 2017 10:18 AM

Even if "laws" are brought in requiring me to report capital gains made in Bitcoin, I still won't do it. Fuck the government and fuck anyone who believes in their "laws".




Currently, only 50% of realized capital gains are taxable in Canada at an individual's tax rate

grunk's picture

There was a Russian passport next to the laptop.

Nobody For President's picture

The Russian Hacker in the Library with a Candlestick.

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Tail is so much wag dog, dog is soon vomit all over Amerikansky MSM and establishment!

SoDamnMad's picture

Boris  Good to see you post.  Snovum Gordum to you.  I shall have some Russian Standard tonite in your honor. . 

asteroids's picture

The "Press" in the US is afforded certain protections because they are committed to reporting the truth in an unbiased way. Now if the "Press" is found to be a mouthpiece spewing lies, how long do you think those protections will last eh?

Dabooda's picture

The protections will last as long as the lies are being spewed by the politicians who have the laws enforced.  But don't expect the protections to extend to actual purveyors of truth . . . er, Russian propaganda.  The new NDAA will give the MSM "Ministry of Truthiness" status.

chunga's picture

Yes it's become a yuge joke. A while ago my wife got me good. She put on her real serious face and told me she heard something in the back room. I said "what?". She answered "I think it's the Russians".

I been meaning to ask you if the Russians also took away your ZH Christmas gathering?

NoDebt's picture

The party is still a GO.  I've posted up a couple times already with my email so you can get on the invite list.  Perhaps you missed it.  I can't keep plastering it all over ZH or the Tylers' patience will probably wear thin with me.    


Shoot me an email and I'll put you on my DL so when I get details nailed down I'll have a way to let you know (also helps me estimate the number of people coming I have to plan for).

Probably going to be late January/early February someplace local to me- PA/DE line area.

chunga's picture

Oh ok, I thought it happened already. We're down here in FEMA Region South East, so it's tough getting anybody to take care of our animals. I'm gonna send an email anyway because if Tyler ever gets shut down for reporting real news it would be nice to stay abreast of any round-ups that occur.

Some day I intend to buy an entire mountain and opening a Zero Hedge Lounge but that plan is contingent on winning the lottery, and that's where it's stuck.

landauer's picture

It's no joke. The evil bastards targeted the office coffee machine. They'll be adding vodka to orange juice next. Nuke 'em.

Chupacabra-322's picture

@ NoDebt,

Been a member on these boards for five years. Little did I know I was Russian Spy. I hope I got laid at least.

Bastiat's picture

If you don't remember, what difference does it make?

Holy hand grenade of Antioch's picture
Holy hand grenade of Antioch (not verified) NoDebt Jan 3, 2017 11:19 AM

They turned me into a newt!

Skateboarder's picture

Damn Russians even hacked my skateboard. It's been doing kickflips by itself! WTF!

Chupacabra-322's picture

My wife's Vibrator keeps going off. However, I don't think it's the Russian's.

Skateboarder's picture

Oh no, they hacked your wife!

Chupacabra-322's picture

That's what she "Claims." I believe she's awaken & learned a thing or two from the art of Scripted False Narratives & Gas Lighting.

Mr. Bones's picture

Since Russians are everywhere doing everything, I propose a paradigm shift in our thinking.  If it can't be explained by idiots in the MSM in 10 seconds, it was Russians. 

The EM drive: invisible Russians

The pyramids: Russians

Nazca lines: Russian

Toast landing butter side down: Russians

Female moodiness: Russian

Bacon: Russians

USB cords never going in the right way the first time: Russians

Accordingly, since our logic is inverted (4g dive approximately 2m from a MIG 28, which is clearly RUSSIAN) we have confirmed that Russian hackers in your power grid are *not* Russian.  See, makes perfect sense.

BullyDog's picture

I don't often read fake news, however when I do, it's always a mainstream paper, pretending to report facts over fiction.

New_Meat's picture

NoDebt:  Where we work, we are old-school, so we only blame Bill Gates.

HowdyDoody's picture

What's dog-speak for "The Russains ate your homework"?


Holy hand grenade of Antioch's picture
Holy hand grenade of Antioch (not verified) Save_America1st Jan 3, 2017 11:23 AM

Nope... It was definitely Putin (who was also talking loudly during Obama's backswing)

Just Another Vietnam Vet's picture


When is the Time to Ban or Fine rags like WaPoo for complete total bullshit  ???????  

It only inflames international tensions. 

Who or where is the accountability ??

May the day arrive when TBTF corporations pay Billion $$$$$$ fines, ..........

..........AND SOMEONE GOES TO JAIL......!!!!!!! 


farragut's picture

WaPo is the old & deceitful dying legacy MSM.

Teen Vogue is the new & deceitful dying legacy MSM.

onewayticket2's picture

now, do they begin to understand why Trump bypasses them and goes direct to the People??

junction's picture

WARNING: Fake Reporters At Work

New_Meat's picture

Marty Barron at his shining best.

jamesmmu's picture


SoDamnMad's picture

He can make amends by leaving earlier than the 20th. Tonite would be fine. 

mkhs's picture

The Japanese have a fondness for seppuku.

Cruel Joke's picture

Washington Pravda. FLAG!

FlipFlop's picture

Pravda is more respectable.

FlipFlop's picture

Did fb fake news detector make an alarm?