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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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CDC Tracks Cell Phone Location Data to Halt Ebola

October 9, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking the approximate locations of cell phone users in West Africa who dial emergency call centers in an effort to predict the onset and spread of Ebola outbreaks. “The data is just the number of calls by cell tower, but from that ...

Should We Put Robots in Charge of Cybersecurity?

October 7, 2014 The theme of October’s National Cybersecurity Awareness month, for half a decade has been "cybersecurity is a shared responsibility” -- but should it be? We're more aware than ever of the risks to logging online, with big-box store hacks, intelligence leaks and bank infiltrations regularly chronicled in the media. And ...

Do We Really Need More Cyber Awareness or Should We Put the Robots in Charge?

October 7, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The theme of October’s National Cybersecurity Awareness month for half a decade has been "cybersecurity is a shared responsibility” -- but should it be? We're more aware than ever of the risks to logging online, with big-box store hacks, intelligence leaks and bank infiltrations regularly chronicled in the media. And ...

Yes, Sunbathers, That's a Government-Commissioned Drone Above You

October 7, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Coast Guard wants to acquire small drones for spotting missing boaters and other distressed oceangoers. Hopefully, not cruise passengers catching some rays. The small unmanned aircraft systems, or SUAS, would weigh at most 35 pounds, Coast Guard officials say. A new solicitation for demonstrations does not specify the length ...

Should Feds Be Afraid of a Popular Chinese Chat App?

October 6, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Even as trendy voice and text-messaging app WeChat, owned by China-based firm Tencent, has gained in popularity, the app is dogged by allegations it serves as an instrument of industrial espionage, according to U.S. technical experts. A large number of Chinese Americans in California, including U.S. government contractors, use the ...

Hackers Out Sex Offenders, Infect New Country and Breach Security Firm’s Database

October 3, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In case you missed our coverage this week in ThreatWatch, Nextgov’s regularly updated index of cyber breaches: WordPress Security Provider Leaks Client Passwords iThemes, a content management system security plugin and training provider, has taken responsibility for being complicit in exposing its customers’ information. ATM Infection Has Now Spread to ...

DHS No Longer Needs Permission Slips to Monitor Other Agencies' Networks for Vulnerabilities

October 3, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow This story has been updated to clarify the Einstein program's role in detecting cyber intrusions. The Department of Homeland Security has spelled out its intentions to proactively monitor civilian agency networks for signs of threats, after agencies arguably dropped the ball this spring in detecting federal websites potentially harboring the ...

Contractors, Expect 72-hour Rule for Disclosing Corporate Hacks

September 29, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Look for the whole government to take a page from the Pentagon and require that firms notify their agency customers of hacks into company-owned systems within three days of detection, procurement attorneys and federal officials say. Right now, vendors only have to report compromises of classified information and defense industry ...

Hush-hush Data Firm Palantir Snags ICE Case-Tracking Deal

September 29, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Immigration and Customs Enforcement has awarded secretive data-mining firm Palantir a $42 million contract to redo the investigation agency's failed case filing system. The deal is part of an $818 million program to replace a 1987 watch-list system, TECS. That tool, which predates the formation of the Department of Homeland ...

Hackers Zero In on Subs, Steal Kentucky Patient Data and Foul Web Developer Site

September 26, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In case you missed our coverage this week in ThreatWatch, Nextgov’s regularly updated index of cyber breaches: Jimmy John’s Hack Only Recently Was Stopped The sandwich chain learned of a payment system breach back on July 30, around the time KrebsOnSecurity first reported an investigation into the matter. Ex-Worker Pocketed ...