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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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What is on the Pentagon Cyber Chief’s Holiday Shopping List?

December 4, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Forget the Internet of Things. The Defense Department has to deal with an Internet of stuff -- helmets, heaters, prosthetics and every other piece of military equipment that is becoming computerized. On Thursday evening, in front of cyber purveyors, DOD Chief Information Security Officer Richard Hale rattled off technologies he ...

Don’t Expect a Physical Threat from Iranian Cyberwarriors Anytime Soon

December 3, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Iran's reported ability to conduct cyber operations that could damage U.S. infrastructure is not an immediate threat, say federal and industry security analysts. On Tuesday, cybersecurity firm Cylance released a two-year study positing that as Iran’s cyberwarfare matures, "the probability of an attack that could impact the physical world at ...

Inspector: Security Holes Found in IRS Obamacare System

December 2, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A core Internal Revenue Service system for calculating Obamacare fees for health insurers and drug manufacturer has security weaknesses, according to an internal audit. Under the Affordable Care Act, insurers must report their net premiums to the tax agency annually, and pharmaceutical companies must submit sales data from certain government ...

Postal Service Has No Annual Financial Statement Because of Hack

December 1, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The U.S. Postal Service is not filing its required yearly financial report because management does not know if business data was altered during a recent data breach, USPS officials said. As part of an ongoing investigation, "the Postal Service is seeking to confirm that the cyber intrusion did not affect ...

Hackers Blackmail Sony Pictures, Feed Pill Addictions and Bankrupt Small Mexican Town

November 26, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In case you missed our coverage this week in ThreatWatch, Nextgov’s regularly updated index of cyber breaches: Twitter CFO Tweets about Confidential Purchase One of the social media firm's executives mistakenly publicly broadcast a tweet meant to be a private direct message to a colleague. Sony Pictures Goes Offline to ...

US Marshals Migrate from BlackBerrys to iPhones

November 26, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow It looks like some U.S. Marshals Service personnel are getting an early holiday present. The agency is switching employees from BlackBerrys to iPhones, during the 2015 federal fiscal year that started in October, according to contracting documents. Currently, "mobility" for the Marshals Service's roughly 7,000 users means being able to ...

Bug Accidentally Shut Down Military Open Source Software Portal

November 25, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A software bug inadvertently has knocked out the military's system for developing open source software, according to the Defense Department. A data center supporting Forge.mil executed computer instructions that accidentally "corrupted all Forge.mil systems," Defense Information Systems Agency officials said in a notice released early Monday. The DISA Defense Enterprise ...

DHS Kills Dreaded Biometric Deportation Program

November 24, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Department of Homeland Security will abandon a controversial deportation program that relied on biometric identification -- and replace it with a more targeted extradition approach. The substitution is part of broad Obama administration executive action to fix the immigration system. In the past, under the Secure Communities program, immigration ...

DHS Set to Destroy Governmentwide Network Surveillance Records

November 23, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Department of Homeland Security is poised to ditch all records from a controversial network monitoring system called Einstein that are at least three years old, but not for security reasons. DHS reasons the files -- which include data about traffic to government websites, agency network intrusions and general vulnerabilities ...

Hackers Scam Uncle Sam, Upset Mick Jagger and Rob HSBC

November 21, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In case you missed our coverage this week in ThreatWatch, Nextgov’s regularly updated index of cyber breaches: Fraudsters Bank Half a Million Dollars Using Stolen Patient IDs and the IRS A couple allegedly cribbed the identities of hundreds of patients at two Detroit hospitals to illegally file tax refunds, according ...