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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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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...

DHS Contract Expands Anti-Hacker EINSTEIN Protection to Every Agency

December 8, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Internet Service Provider CenturyLink has won a multiyear contract worth up to $10.8 million dollars to fill gaps in a governmentwide firewall, according to the Department of Homeland Security. The deal was inked to complete a goal of making so-called EINSTEIN 3A network protections available to all civilian agencies by...

OPM Says Dead Federal Employees Also Need ID Theft Protection

December 7, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Office of Personnel Management says deceased people whose identities were stolen during a monumental OPM background check hack should also be provided ID theft protection. So, the agency is mailing notification letters addressed to the departed. In some cases, the dead individuals are receiving letters before their hacked, and...

Hackers Blast Anti-Semitic Texts, Decelerate Roadrunner Wireless, and Infiltrate Key Australian Supercomputer Agency

December 7, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In case you missed our coverage this week in ThreatWatch, Nextgov’s regularly updated index of cyber breaches: Mix-up on Adele.com Ticket Site Exposes Customer Data Fans seeking advance tickets for the singer's tour say they saw other people's shopping baskets, including payment details, upon checkout. Ticketing company Songkick said because...

Has the Government Paid Off Hackers to Remove Malware from Agency Computers?

December 4, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A key Senate committee wants to know if any federal agencies have delivered hackers a ransom to remove file-freezing malware from government computers. So-called ransomware viruses -- innovations often devised by financial criminals -- have become a common nuisance in the United States, costing each victim hundreds to thousands of...

Pentagon Watchdog: Cyberspace Fighters Need More Resources To Do Their Jobs

December 4, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow An internal watchdog has suggested that resource constraints are dogging the race to position cadres of hacker warriors across the armed forces. The Defense Department Office of Inspector General over the past six months has published classified audits on the Cyber Mission Force Teams. U.S. Cyber Command has set a...