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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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Cyber Bill Boosts DHS Cyberthreat Sharing but Critics Fear Backdoor to NSA Surveillance

December 18, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A funding deal approved by the House today and set to clear Congress within days positions the Department of Homeland Security as the front door for hack surveillance intelligence arriving from private industry. The back door, to the chagrin of some privacy activists, is the intelligence community. The 2,000-page $1.1...

US Considers Using Portable DNA Labs, Iris Scans to Vet Syrian Refugees

December 17, 2015 The U.S. government is considering a handful of new technologies to strengthen and potentially hasten the screening of Syrian refugees. Mobile DNA analyzers and iris-recognition systems are among the tools under consideration or recently deployed, as the Obama administration strives to let in thousands of individuals escaping Bashar al-Assad's regime...

$1.1 Trillion Spending Package Extends ID Protection for Hacked Feds to a Decade

December 16, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Hacked federal employees should receive an extra seven years of anti-fraud protection in their stockings this holiday season, once Congress votes on a must-pass spending bill. A legislative package negotiated Tuesday night to keep the government operating slipped in a policy to protect, for a decade, the identities of victims...

US Considers Using Portable DNA Labs, Iris Scans to Vet Syrian Refugees

December 16, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The U.S. government is considering a handful of new technologies to strengthen and potentially hasten the screening of Syrian refugees. Mobile DNA analyzers and iris-recognition systems are among the tools under consideration or recently deployed, as the Obama administration strives to let in thousands of individuals escaping Bashar al-Assad's regime...

New OPM Cyber Chief Is Bracing for an ISIS Hack

December 15, 2015 The new cybersecurity adviser hired by the Office of Personnel Management after a Chinese-originated hack says he expects ISIS may ultimately pierce the agency's systems, too. The historic data breach exposed the professional and private lives of 21.5 million individuals applying for clearances to handle classified information, plus their families....

New OPM Cyber Czar Worried About an ISIS Hack

December 14, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The new cybersecurity adviser hired by the Office of Personnel Management after a Chinese-originated hack says he expects ISIS may ultimately pierce the agency's systems, too. The historic data breach exposed the professional and private lives of 21.5 million individuals applying for clearances to handle classified information, plus their families....

Hackers Pocket IBM Secrets in China, File Maine Health Records Elsewhere, and Defraud Elephant Bar Diners

December 14, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In case you missed our coverage this week in ThreatWatch, Nextgov’s regularly updated index of cyber breaches: Ex-IBM employee from China Allegedly Stole Trade Secrets A former software coder for IBM in China has been accused of trying to sell stolen code to other companies. He was arrested Dec. 7....

Government Finishes Mailing Letters to Hack Victims -- But Still Can’t Track Down 1.5 Million of Them

December 11, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The letter should be in the mail. That was the message from the Office of Personnel Management on Friday afternoon -- six months after disclosing an agency hack in which personal data on 21.5 million federal employees, contractors and their families was stolen. The government has finished mailing 93 percent...

State Department Says Hackers May Have Stolen Sensitive Data

December 10, 2015 Updated with comment from current and former State Department officials. The State Department says sensitive data might have been breached during multiple hack attacks over the past year. The revelation, buried in an inspector general report released Wednesday, is the first acknowledgment that foreign spies might have grabbed national secrets...

UPDATED: State Department Hackers May Have Stolen Sensitive Data, Watchdog Says

December 9, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Updated with comment from current and former State Department officials. The State Department says sensitive data might have been breached during multiple hack attacks over the past year. The revelation, buried in an inspector general report released Wednesday, is the first acknowledgment that foreign spies might have grabbed national secrets...