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Researchers: We've discovered power-grid-wrecking software

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PARIS (AP) — Researchers say they've discovered a worrying breed of power grid-wrecking software, saying the program was likely responsible for a brief blackout that hit Kiev late last year.

Slovakia-based computer security company ESET and Maryland-based Dragos, Inc. said in a report published Monday that the malicious software has the ability to control the switches and circuit breakers — a nightmare scenario for those charged with keeping the lights on.

Policymakers have long ranked malware that can remotely sabotage industrial computers among some of the world's most dangerous threats because of its potential to deal immense damage across the internet.

The researchers stopped just short of blaming the malware for the Ukrainian power outage on December 17, 2016.

Ukrainian officials didn't immediately return a message seeking comment on the report.

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