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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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White House Cyber Force Has a $140,000 Opening

February 27, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The White House has begun staffing a new policymaking cyber unit, according to a hiring notice on the federal government's job board. The opening is for an information technology specialist who would fetch between $63,722 and $139,523 a year. Interested cyber pros better act fast. The application window closes on ...

Anthem Health Care Hack Snared Federal Employees Who Weren’t Anthem Customers

February 27, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A month after detecting a data breach, Anthem, a Blue Cross and Blue Shield federal employee benefit provider, either does not know or won't comment publicly on how many federal employee plan members are affected by the hack. Over the past week, Anthem has disclosed more details on the extent ...

Spy Research Agency Is Building a Machine To Predict Cyber Attacks

February 24, 2015 Imagine if IBM's Watson -- the "Jeopardy!" champion supercomputer -- could answer not only trivia questions and forecast the weather, but also predict data breaches days before they occur. That is the ambitious, long-term goal of a contest being held by the U.S. intelligence community. Academics and industry scientists are ...

Spy Research Agency Is Building Psychic Machines to Predict Hacks

February 23, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Imagine if IBM's Watson -- the "Jeopardy!" champion supercomputer -- could answer not only trivia questions and forecast the weather, but also predict data breaches days before they occur. That is the ambitious, long-term goal of a contest being held by the U.S. intelligence community. Academics and industry scientists are ...

Hackers Threaten Military Families, Penetrate Gas Pump and Expose Porn Site Visitors to Viruses

February 23, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In case you missed our coverage this week in ThreatWatch, Nextgov’s regularly updated index of cyber breaches: Group That Hacked CENTCOM Eyes Military Spouses Apparent pro-ISIS hacktivists co-opted the Twitter account of a military family advocacy group and posted threats against around a half dozen members. Porn Site Was Exposing ...

EXCLUSIVE: State Department Trashed 30,000 Log-in Key Fobs After Hack

February 20, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The State Department over the past few months replaced some 30,000 network log-in fobs and digital tokens that employees had been using to access its systems remotely, after the agency's unclassified network was hacked, according to a department official. During the switchover, some State personnel said they were not able ...

The IRS Knows What Computer You Are Using -- and That Might Be a Good Thing

February 19, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Internal Revenue Service is preparing to give taxpayers and tax preparers new identity-theft protections for filing online returns, partly because ID fraud has cost the U.S. Treasury nearly $6 billion. One counter-fraud measure will capture identifying data from the laptop or PC used to file a return, according to ...

Welcome Back from Your Trip Abroad, Now Hand Over That Bugged Phone

February 19, 2015 Officials at the departments of Justice and Homeland Security typically expect employees’ smartphones will be bugged when they travel overseas. So, they are experimenting with various ways to neutralize foreign spy gear. For years, the FBI has warned government and corporate executives not to use hotel Wi-Fi connections, because of ...

Justice, DHS Quarantine Smartphones Returning from Abroad

February 18, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Officials at the departments of Justice and Homeland Security typically expect employees’ smartphones will be bugged when they travel overseas. So, they are experimenting with various ways to neutralize foreign spy gear. For years, the FBI has warned government and corporate executives not to use hotel Wi-Fi connections, because of ...

Cyber Firm: The NSA Is Out-Hacking the Chinese and the Russians

February 17, 2015 The exposure of an all-star hacker group thought to be affiliated with the National Security Agency is both a feather in the spy agency's cap and a setback for intelligence-gathering on Islamic extremists, some threat analysts say. On Sunday, Kaspersky Lab, a research firm headquartered in Moscow, published an analysis ...