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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From Nextgov: Former federal contractor gets jail time for falsifying immigration records

June 2, 2011 A former contractor working as a records custodian at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has been sentenced to five and a half years in jail for doctoring computer files to help illegal aliens obtain "legal" passports, Justice Department officials announced this week. The case reflects a larger problem the agency...

New recovery system restores virus-infected computers, could be used by agencies

June 1, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers backed by funding from government contractor Northrop Grumman Corp. have developed a tool that serves as an undo button to restore computers after they are infected by viruses, a computer scientist leading the effort said. The so-called intrusion recovery system is one of about a...

Just Rewards

June 1, 2011 Eliminating second chances for contractor incentives could save millions, auditors say. A single federal agency could save hundreds of millions of dollars simply by withholding incentive awards from contractors that were previously denied, according to a March report from the Government Accountability Office. Companies that fail to meet initial performance...

Pentagon to adversaries: An attack on U.S. networks might unleash military force

May 31, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A new Defense Department policy that reportedly authorizes troops to use physical force in response to a cyberattack does not represent a change in posture, but rather a signal to adversaries that the United States will not hesitate to act, said a former U.S. military and intelligence official who managed...

DOD, DHS jointly respond to military contractor cyber attack

May 29, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Pentagon and the Homeland Security Department are aiding Defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp. on an investigation into a cyber attack that reportedly infiltrated the firm's security networks, federal officials said Saturday night. "DoD is aware of a cyber incident impacting Lockheed Martin and, together with the Department of Homeland...

Auditors: DHS lacks cost justification for $780 million spent on border network

May 27, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow For half a decade, the Homeland Security Department did not collect cost-justification information for invoices from contractor Boeing Co., before paying the company for services rendered on a $1 billion failed, virtual border fence, federal auditors concluded. DHS envisioned the Secure Border Initiative Network as a surveillance system comprised of...

Cybersecurity center director warns of Stuxnet copycats

May 26, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Homeland Security Department is worried that copycat attackers may reengineer malicious software that allegedly infected Iran's nuclear operations last year to unleash a wider attack, said the head of the department's 24-hour cyber warning center. Last year, the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center discovered that the worm called...

White House rejects terrorism-related cyberwar provisions in House bill

May 25, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Obama administration objects to a House proposal that specifies the term cyberwar includes clandestine actions against terrorists online. The language, which House members folded into the 2012 Defense Department authorization bill, asserts that the Pentagon has the power to conduct military activities in cyberspace, including covert operations to support...

Into the Budget Morass

May 25, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Imagine a technology implementation plan designed at the outset to make federal employees' jobs easier, protect taxpayers' interests and serve customers more quickly. That was the idea behind the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service's Transformation program. By converting much of the paperwork for immigration cases to an electronic processing system,...

Travel services contractor takes its case to federal court; GSA to continue with replacement project

May 24, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow After attorneys at the Government Accountability Office rejected part of a vendor's protest to stop the procurement of a new online travel agency, the company has taken its case to federal court. But the solicitation for bids on the contract, which is being managed by the General Services Administration, can...

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