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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 Fleece Sam’s Club, Snoop on Chinese Military Projects, and Poach IDs from Blue Cross, Again

March 20, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In case you missed our coverage this week in ThreatWatch, Nextgov’s regularly updated index of cyber breaches: Blue Cross Blue Shield Worker Stole IDs to Aid $742,000 Sam’s Club Shopping Spree A former customer service representative at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan was part of an identity theft scheme...

This Is How the Military Eyes ISIS Oil Laundering from the Sky

March 20, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow On March 3, an analyst at the Pentagon's clandestine map-making agency briefed the director on a new method for aiding the fight against the Islamic State. By eyeing signs of the black market oil industry, the agency can glean clues to help its partners choke off the source of ISIS'...

In Nod To Privacy, Feds Say Every Agency Website Will Be Encrypted

March 18, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The White House is planning to mandate that all agency websites use HTTPS encryption to protect citizens from online eavesdroppers. While the "HTTPS-Only Standard" makeover likely won’t happen overnight, privacy proponents cheered the effort. Today, hundreds of the federal government's roughly 1,200 websites, including IRS.gov, still use the insecure protocol,...

The Military's Cybersecurity Budget in 4 Charts

March 16, 2015 This story was updated March 19. U.S. Cyber Command spending will take a 7 percent hit this year, even as it tries to get mission troops up and rolling in 2016, according to Defense Department budget figures. Last year, the force was funded at $546 million, while 2015 estimates project...

US Military Cybersecurity by the Numbers

March 16, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow This story was updated March 19. U.S. Cyber Command spending will take a 7 percent hit this year, even as it tries to get mission troops up and rolling in 2016, according to Defense Department budget figures. Last year, the force was funded at $546 million, while 2015 estimates project...

Unpaid Suspension of Federal Hydrologist Once Accused of Illegal Army Downloads Is Under Review

March 16, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is considering whether to reinstate an employee who last fall was removed from duty for allegedly misusing an Army database. The implied suspicion was that NOAA hydrologist Xiafen Chen had passed on to Chinese nationals sensitive files on U.S. dams contained in the system....

Hackers Infiltrate University of Chicago, Violate Privacy of Ex-Wife’s Medical Patients, and Aid Private Eyes

March 13, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In case you missed our coverage this week in ThreatWatch, Nextgov’s regularly updated index of cyber breaches: Privacy of a Doctor’s Patient Was Violated by Her Cyber-Stalking Ex-Husband A New York anesthesiologist found out her physician husband had been reading her emails for seven years, while they separated, divorced and...

New USCIS Computer Was Supposed to Speed Up Immigration Processing. What Went Wrong?

March 13, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow If there’s one thing politicians of all stripes can agree on, it’s this: The immigration system is broken. What’s less obvious is the extent to which that’s physically true. An online system that was supposed to automate the processing of green cards and other immigration benefits has struggled to function...

Treasury Begins Automating Cyber Tip-Sharing with Banks

March 12, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Treasury Department has begun automating the flow of cyber threat tips back and forth between financial institutions and the government. The technology upgrade follows heavy assaults on Wall Street networks over the past few years. It's been said that this communications technique, made possible by a special programming language,...

Pentagon To Launch Hacker Proof Helicopter Drone By 2018

March 12, 2015 An unhackable Boeing Little Bird unmanned aircraft should be in flight around the end of 2017, Defense Department and company officials say. Right now, defense industry programmers are rewriting software on the helicopter drone to encapsulate its communications computer. That way, no outsiders can steer the unmanned aerial vehicle to...