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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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Behind the High Tech Forensics of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17

August 19, 2014 Dutch officials expect precise accuracy from DNA-matching software that will be used to identify many of the 298 Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 victims. But it is unknown whether there will be enough genetic evidence from the remains and relatives of the missing to ID everyone. As of Friday, 171 people ...

DNA-Matching Androids to Help ID 600 MH17 Bodies and Remains

August 19, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Dutch officials expect precise accuracy from DNA-matching software that will be used to identify many of the 298 Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 victims. But it is unknown whether there will be enough genetic evidence from the remains and relatives of the missing to ID everyone. As of Friday, 171 people ...

Exclusive: Nuke Regulator Hacked by Suspected Foreign Powers

August 18, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Nuclear Regulatory Commission computers within the past three years were successfully hacked by foreigners twice and also by an unidentifiable individual, according to an internal investigation. One incident involved emails sent to about 215 NRC employees in "a logon-credential harvesting attempt," according to an inspector general report Nextgov obtained through ...

Hackers Swindle Yacht Club Members and Tap Supervalu’s Credit Line

August 15, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In case you missed our coverage this week in ThreatWatch, Nextgov’s regularly updated index of cyber breaches: Security breach at swanky Chicago yacht club The hack involved the credit and debit card data of the organization’s prominent members. Feds accuse Russian of pre-Target era credit card raid This month, U.S. ...

The Snowden Effect

August 15, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Revelations last year that the National Security Agency is collecting Americans’ telephone metadata soured some people’s opinions about the U.S. intelligence community, but they apparently haven’t affected the views of many computer security professionals. Anecdotal evidence suggests that leaks by Edward Snowden, the former systems administrator and contractor with the ...

IRS Gave Sensitive Data to Convict Sentenced to 21 Years

August 14, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Internal Revenue Service failed to conduct background checks on many contract workers who handled sensitive taxpayer data, an internal review reveals. The findings arrive at a time when identity theft has become an everyday threat in the public and private sectors. At the IRS, contractors hired for courier, printing, ...

The Navy Battles for ‘E*WARFARE’ Brand

August 13, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Navy has trademarked the name "e*WARFARE" and registered to reserve the rights to "E*WARFARE" in a preemptive move to deflect lawyers and fraudsters. As of last week, e*WARFARE -- lowercase "e" and "WARFARE" in all capital letters, with an asterisk -- is the exclusive logo for official electronic warfare ...

Can You Profile a Suitcase? You Could Win a $15,000 Prize

August 12, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow This story has been updated to include a comment from TSA. The Transportation Security Administration will pony up $15,000 for an idea for a system that crosschecks baggage tags against fliers’ personal data to determine the threat-level of their bags. The thinking is that this data exchange will save screeners ...

Who Receives Hacker Threat Info From DHS?

August 11, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Health care, banking and other key sectors at risk of cyberattacks have not joined a Department of Homeland Security program required to offer these industries protections against a potential catastrophic hack, according to federal inspectors. President Obama ordered in early 2013 that DHS expand an information-sharing program once restricted to ...

Will The Government Shred Your Contract After a Hack?

August 8, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Contractors are concerned they might lose government business for coming forward about suspected internal data breaches, after the unprecedented decision by two departments to halt contracts with a hacked background investigation firm. It is believed the personal information of Department of Homeland Security employees likely was compromised when a suspected ...