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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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There’s A Plan to Immediately Purge Some Governmentwide Network Surveillance Data

July 16, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow After a series of stinging government hacks, the Department of Homeland Security said scans of incoming Internet traffic from the public would be amped up. It has been unclear how this monitoring might affect the privacy of citizens and employees. Now, a little-noticed National Archives and Records Administration assessment offers...

After Dodging the Bullet that Hit OPM, Interior ‘Owns’ Up to Cyber Problem

July 15, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Sometimes, fear is the best motivator. At the Interior Department, this was the case when hackers stole millions of federal employee records from an Office of Personnel Management database stored inside one of Interior's data centers. The assailants left Interior's data unscathed. But point taken, Interior Chief Information Officer Sylvia...

House Panel Dents Budget for Cyber Tool That Scoped out OPM Breaches

July 14, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A House committee has slightly undercut a White House budget request for Department of Homeland Security network surveillance technology integral to post-megahack cleanup. Citing the cost of President Barack Obama's proposed pay raises and concerns about contracting for the tool, lawmakers passed a $474 million measure to fund EINSTEIN --...

OPM Says 84,000 Hack Victims Still Not Notified

July 14, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Nearly 40 days after the Office of Personnel Management divulged that attackers copied millions of government employee personnel records, the agency says it's alerted 98 percent of affected employees. That, however, still leaves 84,000 individuals who have not been notified their privacy has been compromised, according to OPM statistics. The...

Suddenly, Everyone Wants the NSA's Cyber Defense Tech

July 13, 2015 Agriculture companies are now buying cyber-surveillance gear fueled by National Security Agency intelligence, according to a telecommunications company authorized to sell the technology to government and industry. It is the same apparatus that discovered the monumental hack now known to have netted personal information on 21.5 million background check applicants...

Hackers Bust into Zoos, Mess with Trump and Threaten Syrian Humanitarian Watchdogs

July 13, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In case you missed our coverage this week in ThreatWatch, Nextgov’s regularly updated index of cyber breaches: Zoo Souvenir Buyers across America Might Have Been Hacked A company that handles gift shop payments at the Detroit Zoo, Houston Zoo and around 10 other zoos suffered a data breach Debit and...

After Monumental Breach, Banks and Even Farmers Are Buying NSA-Fueled Surveillance Gear

July 10, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Agriculture companies are now buying cyber-surveillance gear fueled by National Security Agency intelligence, according to a telecommunications company authorized to sell the technology to government and industry. It is the same apparatus that discovered the monumental hack now known to have netted personal information on 21.5 million background check applicants...

By the Numbers: Victims of the OPM Hack

July 9, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Obama administration officials Thursday provided new details about the total number of federal employees and contractors affected by a breach of Office of Personnel Management databases holding background check data on millions of national security personnel. OPM now says it’s “highly likely” hackers made off with background check forms on...

Agencies Finally Move to Stronger Sign-ons as OPM Breach Widens to 21 Million

July 9, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Obama administration officials finally provided estimates Thursday for the total number of federal employees and contractors affected by a breach of Office of Personnel Management databases holding background check data on millions of national security personnel. And officials now say the massive breach of background check and personnel files housed...

5th OPM Hack Hearing Presents Yet Another Unanswered Question

July 9, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow By the fifth congressional hearing on a wide breach of U.S. personnel information disclosed in early June, some of the usual witnesses were running out of new things to say, while some just plain didn't show up. Office of Personnel Management Chief Information Officer Donna Seymour, who has made two...