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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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Homeland Security Committee Considers Turning Nation’s Cellphones into Walkie-Talkies During Emergencies

May 7, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Correction: In an earlier version of this article, statements made by Apple’s Bud Tribble were incorrectly attributed to Defense Department Chief Information Officer Terry Halvorsen. The plan to use cellphones in a national emergency was a suggestion made to the Pentagon, not a plan the department is currently undertaking. Let's ...

Mapping Threats

May 6, 2015 Around the time the computer game “Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?” was teaching Generation Y about geography, grown-up versions of geography software had analysts at spy agencies a little concerned about job security. Back then, Defense Intelligence Agency imagery analyst Robert Cardillo and his colleagues thought visualization technology ...

DHS Scales Back License Plate-Tracking Surveillance

May 4, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow This story was updated May 4 at 4:35 p.m. to include comment from Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The Department of Homeland Security has scaled back the scope of contractor requirements for what would have been a nationwide license plate-scanning effort, amid continued uproar over the on-again-off-again project. The new system, ...

CYBERCOM To Outsource $475 Million of Work To Stand Up Command

May 3, 2015 The emerging Pentagon division that coordinates military cybersecurity and cyberattacks is asking private contractors to help finish standing up the Cyber Command. Among the tasks to be assigned under a request for proposals issued Thursday are support for eavesdropping to detect threats and assistance with repelling hacks equivalent to an ...

CYBERCOM to Outsource $475 Million Worth of Offense and Defense Work

May 1, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The emerging Pentagon division that coordinates military cybersecurity and cyberattacks is asking private contractors to help finish standing up the Cyber Command. Among the tasks to be assigned under a request for proposals issued Thursday are support for eavesdropping to detect threats and assistance with repelling hacks equivalent to an ...

Hackers Nick CENTCOM Laptops, Hijack Tesla’s Publicity Machine and Infiltrate SendGrid Systems

May 1, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In case you missed our coverage this week in ThreatWatch, Nextgov’s regularly updated index of cyber breaches: Insider Stole CENTCOM Computers That Wound Up on eBay Scott Duty, a former civilian CENTCOM employee, copped to the theft after a supervisor tasked Duty with taking stock of the very inventory he ...

How To Hack a Military Drone

April 29, 2015 Research studies on drone vulnerabilities published in recent years essentially provided hackers a how-to guide for hijacking unmanned aircraft, an Israeli defense manufacturer said Monday. A real-life downing of a CIA stealth drone by Iranians occurred a month after one such paper was published, noted Esti Peshin, director of cyber ...

Blackmail Lists? Bribery? Why Background Check Files Keep Getting Hacked

April 28, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Newly revealed information about how hackers broke into a company conducting millions of background investigations on national security employees shows the lengths to which attackers are willing to go to steal U.S. secrets. There is a systemic effort underway by China and other adversaries to crib sensitive data on powerful ...

Here's How You Hack a Military Drone

April 27, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Research studies on drone vulnerabilities published in recent years essentially provided hackers a how-to guide for hijacking unmanned aircraft, an Israeli defense manufacturer said Monday. A real-life downing of a CIA stealth drone by Iranians occurred a month after one such paper was published, noted Esti Peshin, director of cyber ...

Hackers Hijack Wireless Car Keys and Pierce Israeli Military Systems

April 24, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In case you missed our coverage this week in ThreatWatch, Nextgov’s regularly updated index of cyber breaches: Thieves Break Into Cars by Amplifying Signals from Wireless Keys Inside Homes Storing your wireless car keys in the freezer might be the best way to defeat crooks with door-hack gadgets. A series ...