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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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FAA Working on New Guidelines for Hack-Proof Planes

March 4, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Federal Aviation Administration has begun shaping cybersecurity regulations for airplane manufacturers, amid warnings that the criss-crossing of onboard networks poses risks to flight safety. Researchers have been invited to build upon an FAA-developed framework for testing a plane’s susceptibility to hacks, agency officials announced on a federal contracting site....

Pentagon Launches First-of-Its-Kind Bug Bounty Program

March 3, 2016 Challenged by hackers and staffing shortages, the Pentagon is inviting plainclothes techies to a competition where they can poke around military code for security bugs. The idea is to find and fix vulnerabilities unknowingly inserted in software before the bad guys do. The contest draws inspiration from "bug bounty" programs...

‘Hack the Pentagon’: Will DOD’s Bug Bounty Program Attract Top Talent?

March 2, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Challenged by hackers and staffing shortages, the Pentagon is inviting plainclothes techies to a competition where they can poke around military code for security bugs. The idea is to find and fix vulnerabilities unknowingly inserted in software before the bad guys do. The contest draws inspiration from "bug bounty" programs...

House Panel Wants to Give Agency CIOs Authority to Crack Down on Personal Email Use

March 1, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Lawmakers on Tuesday advanced legislation that would let federal agencies stop employees from accessing personal email and other online programs or using personal devices for security purposes -- without consulting unions. The measure stems from recent incidents at the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of Personnel Management, where...

CYBERCOM Chief Says More Industry Heads Will Roll After Hacks

February 29, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow This story has been updated. The commander of the military's cyberspace troops warned Monday that more corporate heads will roll as companies continue to overlook security holes. But at federal agencies -- and, still, in many private firms -- bosses have been slow to take the blame for hacks. U.S...

Hackers Pay Family’s AT&T Bill, Phish for Celeb Nudies, and Infiltrate the UN World Tourism Organization

February 29, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In case you missed our coverage this week in ThreatWatch, Nextgov’s regularly updated index of cyber breaches: Oregon Man Cops to Phishing for Naked Pics of Celebs Andrew Helton, 29, admits he misrepresented himself as an Apple and Google employee in fraudulent emails sent to Apple and Gmail account holders...

Spy Mapping Agency Isn't Going Dark Anytime Soon

February 29, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The second in command at the Pentagon's spy mapping agency says her problem with bad guys exploiting advances in digital communications is almost the opposite of a handicap the FBI says it has. The challenge for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency is not one of “going dark” but of too much...

DHS Says: No Need for $675M Cyber Contract. We’ve Already Got It under Control.

February 26, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Department of Homeland Security says it will not resuscitate a more than half-billion dollar cyber contract it abandoned earlier this month after a 2-year competition. A federal contracting association representing would-be project participants had voiced frustration about the secrecy surrounding the Feb. 8 cancellation that, according to its members,...

Contractors Annoyed After DHS Scraps $675M Cyber Contract

February 25, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A trade group representing federal contractors says it is frustrated the Department of Homeland Security has left vendors in the dark after scrapping a 2-year competition for cybersecurity support jobs. The explanation for the cancellation of the Cyber Centric Mission Support Services program, according to the Professional Services Council, had...

Behind the Air Force's Fast-Growing Cyber Research Budget

February 24, 2016 It's an annual puzzle for the Defense Department, congressional appropriators, defense contractors and hackers: Calculating how much money the armed forces should spend on protecting weapons systems and warfighting documents, along with attacking adversary networks, can be like taking a shot in the dark. Consider, for example, the Air Force...