A methodology of defect identification in linear DC circuits based on so called Virtual Distortion Method (VDM) will be presented. The proposed approach takes adventage of the analogy linking mechanical models of truss structures and electric circuits. In this paper we cover the issue of modelling defects in electric circuits by compatible state of distortions, next we introduce the concept of influence matrix Dij, which describes global sensitivity of the circuit and enables fast recalculation of system response, and we formulate a gradient method of defect identification (inverse problem) based on local current and voltage measurements. In the following analysis we focus on so-called impotent states of distortions, which are the source of ambiguity of solution. We show that these difficulties can be overcome by a proper measuring strategy.