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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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6 Biggest Blunders in Government's Annual Cyber Report Card

March 2, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The White House has released its yearly assessment of agency compliance with the governmentwide cyber law known as the Federal Information Security Management Act. And given the spate of breaches and hacks that hit both government and the private sector, the results may not be all that surprising. Sensitive agency ...

Clapper Plays the 'Insurance' Card To Defend NSA Surveillance

March 2, 2015 James Clapper, the nation's top spy, said keeping logs of U.S. citizens' phone calls is a preventive measure for discerning potential threats. Any legislation that shifts collection from the government to private telecom companies—a move Clapper has said he supports—could fail to stop a terrorist attack, he added. The National ...

Clapper: Maintaining Phone Call Surveillance is Like Buying Insurance

March 2, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow James Clapper, the nation's top spy, said keeping logs of U.S. citizens' phone calls is a preventive measure for discerning potential threats. Any legislation that shifts collection from the government to private telecom companies – a move Clapper has said he supports -- could fail to stop a terrorist attack, ...

Hackers Cut In Line for Burning Man Tickets, Hack Back Against Lenovo and Scam Illinois Cops

March 2, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In case you missed our coverage this week in ThreatWatch, Nextgov’s regularly updated index of cyber breaches: Illinois Police Department Pays $500 Ransom for Release of Hijacked Computer Hackers infected the station’s system with a form of the “Cryptoware” virus that froze certain files. To regain access to the data, ...

White House Cyber Force Has a $140,000 Opening

February 27, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The White House has begun staffing a new policymaking cyber unit, according to a hiring notice on the federal government's job board. The opening is for an information technology specialist who would fetch between $63,722 and $139,523 a year. Interested cyber pros better act fast. The application window closes on ...

Anthem Health Care Hack Snared Federal Employees Who Weren’t Anthem Customers

February 27, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A month after detecting a data breach, Anthem, a Blue Cross and Blue Shield federal employee benefit provider, either does not know or won't comment publicly on how many federal employee plan members are affected by the hack. Over the past week, Anthem has disclosed more details on the extent ...

Spy Research Agency Is Building a Machine To Predict Cyber Attacks

February 24, 2015 Imagine if IBM's Watson -- the "Jeopardy!" champion supercomputer -- could answer not only trivia questions and forecast the weather, but also predict data breaches days before they occur. That is the ambitious, long-term goal of a contest being held by the U.S. intelligence community. Academics and industry scientists are ...

Spy Research Agency Is Building Psychic Machines to Predict Hacks

February 23, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Imagine if IBM's Watson -- the "Jeopardy!" champion supercomputer -- could answer not only trivia questions and forecast the weather, but also predict data breaches days before they occur. That is the ambitious, long-term goal of a contest being held by the U.S. intelligence community. Academics and industry scientists are ...

Hackers Threaten Military Families, Penetrate Gas Pump and Expose Porn Site Visitors to Viruses

February 23, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In case you missed our coverage this week in ThreatWatch, Nextgov’s regularly updated index of cyber breaches: Group That Hacked CENTCOM Eyes Military Spouses Apparent pro-ISIS hacktivists co-opted the Twitter account of a military family advocacy group and posted threats against around a half dozen members. Porn Site Was Exposing ...

EXCLUSIVE: State Department Trashed 30,000 Log-in Key Fobs After Hack

February 20, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The State Department over the past few months replaced some 30,000 network log-in fobs and digital tokens that employees had been using to access its systems remotely, after the agency's unclassified network was hacked, according to a department official. During the switchover, some State personnel said they were not able ...