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Aliya Sternstein

Senior Correspondent Aliya Sternstein reports on cybersecurity and homeland security systems. She’s covered technology for more than a decade at such publications as National Journal's Technology Daily, Federal Computer Week and Forbes. Before joining Government Executive, Sternstein covered agriculture and derivatives trading for Congressional Quarterly. She’s been a guest commentator on C-SPAN, MSNBC, WAMU and Federal News Radio. Sternstein is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.
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DHS Alerts Public to OPM-Related Phishing Scams

July 1, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow This story was updated July 2 to include details from DHS. A Department of Homeland Security crisis response squad is cautioning about deceitful emails that claim to come from either the Office of Personnel Management or the fraud-prevention firm hired to protect identities netted in the gargantuan hack at OPM....

Why the Lawsuit Against OPM over the Massive Data Breach Faces an Uphill Battle

July 1, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A class action lawsuit against the Office of Personnel Management over a massive breach of federal employees’ data faces an uphill battle, privacy law experts say. The American Federation of Government Employees says OPM and a contractor violated the 1974 Privacy Act by neglecting to secure employees' personal data, which...

Pentagon, OPM Shut Down Background Check Systems

June 30, 2015 A Defense Department Web system that tracks employee background investigations will be offline for an unspecified amount of time, while officials fix security holes in a civilian agency database connected to the tool, according to department officials. A vulnerability in an Office of Personnel Management tool that links to the...

Federal Employee Union Sues Over OPM Hack, Citing Financial and Emotional Distress

June 29, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The nation's largest federal employee union Monday filed a class action lawsuit against top officials at the Office of Personnel Management for the massive government data breach that exposed the personal information of millions of current and former federal employees. A complaint filed in U.S. District Court by the American...

After Hack, Officials Pull Plug on Pentagon and OPM Background Check Systems

June 29, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A Defense Department Web system that tracks employee background investigations will be offline for an unspecified amount of time, while officials fix security holes in a civilian agency database connected to the tool, according to department officials. A vulnerability in an Office of Personnel Management tool that links to the...

After Historic Hack, OPM Chief's 15-Point Plan May Be Too Little, Too Late

June 29, 2015 A cyber strategy announced last week by the head of the agency that hackers robbed of sensitive dossiers on federal employees has potential to deter future attacks, say private investigators who probe computer espionage campaigns. During multiple Capitol Hill appearances, Katherine Archuleta, director of the Office of Personnel Management, referenced...

Hackers Expose Narcotics Dealers, Dump Canadian Officials’ Credentials and Sell Patient Records for $3

June 29, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In case you missed our coverage this week in ThreatWatch, Nextgov’s regularly updated index of cyber breaches: WikiLeaks Saudi Cable Release Resembles Work of Iranian Hackers It seems Iranian hackers were responsible for stealing the 70,000 Saudi Arabia Foreign Ministry documents that recently popped up on the extreme-transparency website. The...

OPM Chief’s New Cyber Defense Operation Has Potential, Private Investigators Say

June 28, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A cyber strategy announced last week by the head of the agency that hackers robbed of sensitive dossiers on federal employees has potential to deter future attacks, say private investigators who probe computer espionage campaigns. During multiple Capitol Hill appearances, Katherine Archuleta, director of the Office of Personnel Management, referenced...

Hacked OPM and Background Check Contractors Lacked Logs, DHS Says

June 25, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Investigators say they do not know the extent of significant hacks inside the government and its background check contractors, because the Office of Personnel Management and the companies did not have sufficient computer logs. This is the reason so many questions remain, a year after data breaches were discovered at...

How Hackers Unlocked OPM Systems and 6 Other Things We Learned about the Breach

June 23, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Office of Personnel Management chief Katherine Archuleta wants you to know she is mad about the breach of personal identification data and background investigations on millions of federal employees. Just don’t blame OPM, she said. The hack at Archuleta’s agency is not the fault of computer security staff or a...