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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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Pentagon Investigators to Probe NSA’s Crackdown on Rogue IT Employees

January 11, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A Defense Department inspector general is initiating a review of a National Security Agency crackdown on computer users who have access to too much information. Be it a rogue contractor or an unknowing employee with sloppy login and logoff habits, insiders are a major threat to U.S. secrets, say researchers...

Hackers Steal IDs of Troubled DC Youths, Compromise Time Warner Cable Passwords & Deface Russian Minister’s Instagram

January 11, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In case you missed our coverage this week in ThreatWatch, Nextgov’s regularly updated index of cyber breaches: Ex-D.C. Juvenile Justice Employee Sold Identities of Youth Offenders Marc Bell, 49, of Bowie, Maryland., worked from 2005 to 2013 at the D.C. Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, where he became a key...

OPM Hackers Netted Usernames, Social Security Numbers Years Ago

January 7, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow When a foreign power as early as 2013 first hacked the Office of Personnel Management and retrieved IT manuals for its network, swept up in the heist were the usernames and the last four digits of the Social Security numbers of certain system users. That detail was not disclosed to...

OPM Still Hasn’t Answered Questions on Background Check Hack, Republicans Say

January 6, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Congress is still waiting for details requested five months ago from the Office of Personnel Management about an agency data breach that allowed U.S. adversaries to obtain information on 21.5 million federal employees, national security contractors and their families, according to some Republican lawmakers. During a House hearing Thursday, the...

Obama Dispatches White House Tech Team to Expand Gun Background Check System

January 5, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The White House has dispatched its computer rescue squad to amp up the bandwidth of the FBI's instant background check system, a program at the center of sweeping firearm reforms. On Tuesday, an emotional President Obama unveiled a series of executive actions to curb gun violence. Among them is a...

Pentagon Grants Contractors an Extension on Hack Detection Rules

January 4, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Pentagon has updated data breach rules for defense contractors to allow companies an extra year-and-a-half to comply with one portion. The original regulations, titled "Network Penetration Reporting and Contracting for Cloud Services," took effect Aug. 26, 2015, and cover more network problems and types of information than past guidelines....

Hackers Intercept Hotmail of China’s Critics & Dox Minnesota Constituents; US Voter Database Escapes

January 4, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In case you missed our coverage this week in ThreatWatch, Nextgov’s regularly updated index of cyber breaches: Chinese Government Broke Into Hotmail Accounts of International Critics Several years ago, after witnessing the email hacks, Hotmail provider Microsoft decided not to tell the victims, allowing Chinese authorities to continue their surveillance...

In a First, NSA Advertises Opportunities on Monster.com of Federal Contracting

December 31, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The National Security Agency has begun recruiting spy-tech inventors on the Monster.com of Beltway contractor jobs. The agency posted a special notice to FedBizOpps.gov, right before the holidays, advertising work for small companies that develop "innovative technologies." An NSA spokesman told Nextgov on Wednesday afternoon, "NSA’s posting on FedBizOpps is...

Hackers Compromise Hello Kitty Fans’ Info, Infect Hyatt & Leak Hot Hollywood Scripts

December 28, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Just another week in ThreatWatch, our regularly updated index of noteworthy data breaches. In case you missed our coverage this week in ThreatWatch, Nextgov’s regularly updated index of cyber breaches: DHS Catches Salesman Pitching Fresh, Stolen TV Scripts A young hacker from the Bahamas got his hands on scripts for...

Has the Obama Administration’s Push on Transparency Run Out of Steam?

December 24, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow This story appears in the November-December issue of Government Executive magazine. In April 2006, a young Democratic senator from Illinois and a graying fiscal conservative from Oklahoma introduced legislation to create a searchable database of federal monetary awards, essentially a Google for government spending. The site would empower citizens to...