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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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DHS Alerted Agencies to Malicious Email Attacks Days After Joint Staff Hack

August 7, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team warned agencies about targeted malicious emails, days after government officials reportedly detected that spearphishing was used to penetrate an unclassified Joint Staff network. A threat analyst who helped establish US-CERT criticized the alert's paucity of information on what infected computer...

The Pentagon Wants a Secretive Cyber Arms Dealer To Hack Its Networks

August 6, 2015 The protection arm of the U.S. Cyber Command says it needs products from Endgame, a company known for crafting hacking tools, but purely to safeguard military networks. The once uber-secretive vendor is part of the cyber arms trade, a legal but controversial industry that sells governments so-called exploits, or "zero...

CYBERCOM Wants Secretive Cyber Arms Dealer To Hack the Pentagon

August 6, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The protection arm of the U.S. Cyber Command says it needs products from Endgame, a company known for crafting hacking tools, but purely to safeguard military networks. The once uber-secretive vendor is part of the cyber arms trade, a legal but controversial industry that sells governments so-called exploits, or "zero...

Contract to Notify and Protect OPM Hack Victims Now Out

August 5, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Vendors who win the job of protecting the identities of 21.5 million victims of the largest known federal data breach will have to let the government inside their own databases, according to new contracting papers. The obligation to give up some confidentiality follows allegations that a background check contractor hacked...

Hackers Copy Secret Army Files, Follow United Fliers, and Expose Planned Parenthood Employee Names

August 3, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In case you missed our coverage this week in ThreatWatch, Nextgov’s regularly updated index of cyber breaches: Former Chinese Military Member Caught Downloading Secret Army Files Wei Chen, while serving as a U.S. defense contractor, allegedly plugged a personal thumb drive into computers connected to classified and unclassified networks, against...

White House Details ‘Cyber Sprint’ Progress, Says Congress Needs to Lift Sequester for Security Improvements

July 31, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow About 72 percent of computer users in the U.S. government now are restricted from accessing agency networks without a smart card, two months after revelations that a stolen password was used to expose secrets on millions of national security personnel. Still, more than a quarter of users need only a...

DHS Secretary OKs Bill to Monitor Federal Networks

July 31, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow An Obama administration top official has endorsed bipartisan legislation that would allow the Department of Homeland Security to surveil public Internet traffic on government networks. The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee approved the measure Wednesday, on the heels of devastating agency hacks. It now heads to the full...

Bill to Let DHS Monitor Internet Traffic on Government Systems Advances

July 30, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A Senate panel on Wednesday voted to set into law the Department of the Homeland Security's responsibility to monitor public Internet traffic on all government systems. The bill is designed to minimize the harm from breaches like those that hit the Office of Personnel Management. The federal government was admittedly...

White House Preps New Cyber Policy Dealing with Federal Contractors

July 29, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Obama administration is preparing to release a new policy to homogenize the way vendors secure agency data. The proposal, which could be published as early as today, follows hacks at two background checkers and the Office of Personnel Management that potentially compromised the security of personnel who handle U.S....

Navy Man Allegedly Staged Photo Shoot Inside Classified Nuke Sub

July 27, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A Navy employee allegedly snapped photos of secret components in a nuclear submarine that adversaries could use to overpower the United States, court filings show. But the newly unsealed papers contain no indication Kristian Saucier, 28, was acting out a script of the FX series "The Americans," in which KGB...