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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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The IRS Knows What Computer You Are Using -- and That Might Be a Good Thing

February 19, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Internal Revenue Service is preparing to give taxpayers and tax preparers new identity-theft protections for filing online returns, partly because ID fraud has cost the U.S. Treasury nearly $6 billion. One counter-fraud measure will capture identifying data from the laptop or PC used to file a return, according to ...

Welcome Back from Your Trip Abroad, Now Hand Over That Bugged Phone

February 19, 2015 Officials at the departments of Justice and Homeland Security typically expect employees’ smartphones will be bugged when they travel overseas. So, they are experimenting with various ways to neutralize foreign spy gear. For years, the FBI has warned government and corporate executives not to use hotel Wi-Fi connections, because of ...

Justice, DHS Quarantine Smartphones Returning from Abroad

February 18, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Officials at the departments of Justice and Homeland Security typically expect employees’ smartphones will be bugged when they travel overseas. So, they are experimenting with various ways to neutralize foreign spy gear. For years, the FBI has warned government and corporate executives not to use hotel Wi-Fi connections, because of ...

Cyber Firm: The NSA Is Out-Hacking the Chinese and the Russians

February 17, 2015 The exposure of an all-star hacker group thought to be affiliated with the National Security Agency is both a feather in the spy agency's cap and a setback for intelligence-gathering on Islamic extremists, some threat analysts say. On Sunday, Kaspersky Lab, a research firm headquartered in Moscow, published an analysis ...

The Secret’s Out: NSA Personnel are Out-Hacking the Chinese and Russians

February 17, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The exposure of an all-star hacker group thought to be affiliated with the National Security Agency is both a feather in the spy agency's cap and a setback for intelligence-gathering on Islamic extremists, some threat analysts say. On Sunday, Kaspersky Lab, a research firm headquartered in Moscow, published an analysis ...

Hackers Poison Chipotle, Snoop on Forbes Readers and Swindle Commodities Traders

February 16, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In case you missed our coverage this week in ThreatWatch, Nextgov’s regularly updated index of cyber breaches: Commodities Trading Firm Wires $17.2 Million to Phishing Scammer The Scoular Co., one of Omaha’s most established firms, was duped out of millions in an international email swindle. Forbes Website Attacked Select Readers ...

The Two Acronyms That are Key to Obama’s New Plan to Fight Hackers

February 13, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The field of cybersecurity is already rife with acronyms. But listen for a couple of key new terms at today's White House summit on cybersecurity that are essential for explaining how the government will expand information sharing with the private sector. The event, hosted at Stanford University, is meant to ...

Obama’s Geek Squad Could Not Rescue DHS Green Card System from High-Risk List

February 11, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A White House digital crew over the summer swooped in to help rescue what will be the first online system for processing immigration forms. But that did not prevent the delayed, multibillion-dollar Department of Homeland Security project from garnering the dubious distinction, on Wednesday, of a “high-risk” government operation. ELIS ...

Obama’s New Cyber Agency Puts Spies in Charge of Sharing Threat Tips with Agencies

February 10, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Obama administration is creating a new agency intended to protect online privacy and secure sensitive data by combing through spies’ threat assessments and sharing them with other federal agencies. The new Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center, or CTIIC (pronounced See-Tick), will be patterned after the National Counterterrorism Center, an ...

US Cyber Command Has Just Half the Staff It Needs

February 8, 2015 The Pentagon is at the midway point of staffing a projected 6,000-person Cyber Command, officials said, amid fears of a catastrophic threat to U.S. networks. The military appears to be backing away from a long-held goal of establishing a full force by 2016. Lt. Col. Valerie Henderson, a Pentagon spokeswoman, ...