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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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US Visitor Surveillance System Brings Some Solace to Families of MH17 Victims

January 30, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A Department of Homeland Security database that warehouses the fingerprints of almost all foreign visitors to catch terrorists recently was used for a different purpose -- bringing closure to bereft families. U.S. authorities checked the system’s records against residual, or “latent,” prints left behind at the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 ...

Hackers Redirect Malaysia Airlines, Pop Taylor Swift’s Twitter Account, and Harass Autistic Teen

January 30, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In case you missed our coverage this week in ThreatWatch, Nextgov’s regularly updated index of cyber breaches: Autistic Boy Commits Suicide after Virus Accuses Him of Illicit Online Activity The tragedy began when Joseph Edwards received a fake police email, claiming – wrongly -- that he had been looking at ...

DHS Reveals Super Bowl Surveillance Techniques -- Sort Of

January 28, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Secret Service will be searching social media messages this Sunday to discern between real and bogus threats during the Super Bowl, according to Department of Homeland Security officials. But agents will not be using sarcasm-detecting software they have expressed an interest in buying, the agency said. Social media-tracking technology ...

Homeland Security To Roll Out Biometrics Along the Border This Summer

January 28, 2015 The Department of Homeland Security this summer plans to roll out iris and facial recognition services to the U.S. Border Patrol, according to DHS officials. The service will be able to share images with the FBI's massive multibiometric system, officials said. The test is part of a coming overhaul of ...

DHS to Launch Iris and Facial Recognition at the Border

January 27, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Department of Homeland Security this summer plans to roll out iris and facial recognition services to the U.S. Border Patrol, according to DHS officials. The service will be able to share images with the FBI's massive multibiometric system, officials said. The test is part of a coming overhaul of ...

TSA and Inspectors Tussle Over Redactions in JFK Tech Audit

January 26, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow An internal watchdog is calling for the Transportation Security Administration -- for the third time -- to make public portions of an audit on computer security at JFK Airport. But TSA maintains that all of the information is too national security-sensitive to release. Released Jan. 23 with redactions, the Department ...

Hackers Defile Crayola, Borrow F-35 Designs and Tick off Madonna

January 26, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In case you missed our coverage this week in ThreatWatch, Nextgov’s regularly updated index of cyber breaches: Hacker behind Leaks of Madonna’s, Other Entertainers’ Songs Apprehended Police on Jan. 21 arrested a 39-year-old Israeli man for allegedly penetrating the computers of a number of international singing stars, including Madonna, and ...

What Do CENTCOM’s Twitter Hack and GoDaddy Have in Common?

January 26, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The embarrassing hack of U.S. Central Command's Twitter feed earlier this month by purported terrorist sympathizers lay bare the inherent insecurity of normally locked-down federal agencies using external Web services. But this is far from the first time it's happened. The Tennessee Valley Authority was left similarly red faced by ...

Experts Say to Expect Action After State of the Union Cyber Shout Out

January 21, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow After a week of cybersecurity-related congressional proposals, speeches and global talks, President Barack Obama's one-paragraph mention of cyber in the State of the Union address may have seemed a bit anticlimactic. But some Capitol Hill denizens expect Obama's 14-page legislative offer to speak for itself. "It was a little disappointing ...

Who’s Got the Chops to Run a Transatlantic Cyberspy Cell?

January 20, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The success of a newly announced U.S.-U.K. cyberspy unit in many ways will depend on its yet-to-be named leaders, who, digital investigators say, will be hard to find. There's a small talent pool of cybersecurity technologists -- some say 1,000 -- and an even smaller pool of technologists who are ...