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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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Hackers Take Aim at Census Employees, Compromise CVS Photo Customers, and Snoop on Epic Gamers

July 27, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In case you missed our coverage this week in ThreatWatch, Nextgov’s regularly updated index of cyber breaches: Anonymous Leaks Internal Census Data to Protest Controversial Trade Deals The Census Bureau, part of the Commerce Department, recently bore the brunt of grievances about a proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership and Transatlantic Trade and...

Senate Committee Poised to Upgrade Agency Anti-Hacking Laws, Again

July 23, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Federal data security legislation enacted in 2002 that was overhauled last December already is due for an upgrade owing to a confluence of events, say the bill’s authors. First, the Department of Homeland Security laid out a course to wrap its intrusion-thwarting system around all federal networks this year. But...

Senators Want Homeland Security To Be a Leading Cyber Defense Agency

July 22, 2015 Senators from both parties are pushing to position the Department of Homeland Security as the U.S. Cyber Command of the civilian government, after many agencies refused to fall into line on information security last year. Following the largest known hack of U.S. federal employee information, a bipartisan group of six...

Senators Want to Give DHS New CYBERCOM-Like Powers to Thwart Civilian Agency Hacks

July 22, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Senators from both parties are pushing to position the Department of Homeland Security as the U.S. Cyber Command of the civilian government, after many agencies refused to fall into line on information security last year. Following the largest known hack of U.S. federal employee information, a bipartisan group of six...

The Top 10 Women Cyber Guardians You Should Know About

July 22, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The paucity of women in math and science extends to the data security realm. Women make up 14 percent of federal government cyber personnel, according to a May (ISC)2 global information security workforce study. The number was even lower in the private sector as recently as 2013: 11 percent. But...

Were Background Investigations Falsified During the OPM Hack?

July 21, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow There are growing concerns among some security experts that whoever stole data on 21.5 million federal personnel and family members might have falsified background check information, but U.S. officials say they have no evidence of tampering right now. One motivation for meddling with investigations could be to embed a foreign...

Hackers Enter UCLA Health and Expose Carl’s Jr. Model, While Worker Leaks National Guard Data

July 20, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In case you missed our coverage this week in ThreatWatch, Nextgov’s regularly updated index of cyber breaches: Army National Guard Personnel Data Inadvertently Exposed During a security incident different than the one affecting 21.5 million federal employees and their family members, Guard member information was breached. All current and former...

OPM Changes Privacy Rules to Let Investigators Inside All Databases

July 20, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Office of Personnel Management has rewritten privacy regulations to let investigators probe all of its databases for breaches. The move to open systems housing medical files, defense mobilization emergency personnel information, and about 40 other types of records, comes after the discovery of significant entryways for hackers in at...

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...