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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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Hackers Blackmail Sony Pictures, Feed Pill Addictions and Bankrupt Small Mexican Town

November 26, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In case you missed our coverage this week in ThreatWatch, Nextgov’s regularly updated index of cyber breaches: Twitter CFO Tweets about Confidential Purchase One of the social media firm's executives mistakenly publicly broadcast a tweet meant to be a private direct message to a colleague. Sony Pictures Goes Offline to ...

US Marshals Migrate from BlackBerrys to iPhones

November 26, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow It looks like some U.S. Marshals Service personnel are getting an early holiday present. The agency is switching employees from BlackBerrys to iPhones, during the 2015 federal fiscal year that started in October, according to contracting documents. Currently, "mobility" for the Marshals Service's roughly 7,000 users means being able to ...

Bug Accidentally Shut Down Military Open Source Software Portal

November 25, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A software bug inadvertently has knocked out the military's system for developing open source software, according to the Defense Department. A data center supporting Forge.mil executed computer instructions that accidentally "corrupted all Forge.mil systems," Defense Information Systems Agency officials said in a notice released early Monday. The DISA Defense Enterprise ...

DHS Kills Dreaded Biometric Deportation Program

November 24, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Department of Homeland Security will abandon a controversial deportation program that relied on biometric identification -- and replace it with a more targeted extradition approach. The substitution is part of broad Obama administration executive action to fix the immigration system. In the past, under the Secure Communities program, immigration ...

DHS Set to Destroy Governmentwide Network Surveillance Records

November 23, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Department of Homeland Security is poised to ditch all records from a controversial network monitoring system called Einstein that are at least three years old, but not for security reasons. DHS reasons the files -- which include data about traffic to government websites, agency network intrusions and general vulnerabilities ...

Hackers Scam Uncle Sam, Upset Mick Jagger and Rob HSBC

November 21, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In case you missed our coverage this week in ThreatWatch, Nextgov’s regularly updated index of cyber breaches: Fraudsters Bank Half a Million Dollars Using Stolen Patient IDs and the IRS A couple allegedly cribbed the identities of hundreds of patients at two Detroit hospitals to illegally file tax refunds, according ...

What a Privacy Activist Turned Top White House Adviser Thinks About Cybersecurity

November 20, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In 2011, Nextgov spotlighted a handful of "emerging leaders" -- including Ari Schwartz, then the first-ever Internet policy adviser for the National Institute for Standards and Technology. Today, Schwartz, 43, is no longer emerging. He has emerged. Schwartz, who hails from the world of privacy activism, is now the White ...

Timeline: How the Postal Service Data Breach Went Down

November 19, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow U.S. Postal Service officials are revealing more about the cyber intrusion at the agency that exposed the personal data of about 800,000 USPS employees. Testifying before Congress Wednesday, Randy Miskanic, incident commander on the case and the USPS secure digital solutions vice president, laid out a nearly day-by-day timeline of ...

Hackers Possibly Copied Postal Employee Pay Records

November 19, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Compensation files for U.S. Postal Service workers might also have been breached during a recent hack that exposed the Social Security numbers and other personal data on about 800,000 USPS employees, a postal inspector said Wednesday. At a House hearing on the agency's controversial "mail cover" envelope-surveillance program, the cyber ...

Governmentwide Login Portal Connect.gov Unaffected by Hack

November 18, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Following a raft of agency and retailer hacks, the federal government is weeks away from debuting a new way to securely conduct transactions online, without registering one's personal information. In an unfortunate turn of events, the U.S. Postal Service – which operates the tool – recently discovered an attack on ...