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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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Pentagon Satellite Maker Ignoring 'Thousands' of Major Cyber Vulnerabilities

August 26, 2014 The Commerce Department inspector general is blasting a federal climate-satellite program and its supporting contractor, Raytheon, for ignoring tens of thousands of major cyber vulnerabilities. The weaknesses identified in a new IG memo could impair machines controlling the Joint Polar Satellite System, the nation's next-generation fleet of polar orbiting environmental ...

Police Allegedly Vetted Dates Using Law Enforcement Database

August 26, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Local cops in California are accused of using work time and office equipment to search for women on Internet dating sites – with back-up from a government intelligence system, a CBS affiliate in Sacramento reports. Officers Stephen Ruiz and Jacob Glashoff pinged the California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System – a ...

Thousands of Weather Satellite Bugs Won’t Be Fixed For Years

August 26, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Commerce Department inspector general is blasting a federal climate-satellite program and its supporting contractor, Raytheon, for ignoring tens of thousands of major cyber vulnerabilities. The weaknesses identified in a new IG memo could impair machines controlling the Joint Polar Satellite System, the nation's next-generation fleet of polar orbiting environmental ...

Will Obama's New Tech Squad Include Cyber Experts?

August 25, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow It remains to be seen whether data security experts will be assigned to a White House tech squad recently forged to ensure government websites work better than the initial, botched HealthCare.gov, Obama administration officials said Monday. Privacy advocates, and even Google, are calling on websites worldwide to offer stronger safeguards, ...

Hackers Taint the Caribbean, Smuggle Patient Data, and Bring Gaza to Delaware

August 22, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In case you missed our coverage this week in ThreatWatch, Nextgov’s regularly updated index of cyber breaches: Community Health Systems breach affects 4.5 million patients The U.S. hospital operator said personal data, including names and addresses, of about 4.5 million people was stolen from its computer network. Foreign dot-gov sites ...

Will Court Move Clear the Way to Mass Government Hacking?

August 22, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow U.S. courts are moving forward with a plan federal agencies say is needed to track down potential terrorists hiding out on the Internet but privacy advocates say would give the FBI wide latitude to hack into people's computers. The U.S. Courts Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure has published ...

Agencies Get New Guidelines for OK’ing Apps

August 21, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The National Institute of Standards and Technology has prepared new agency guidelines for screening commercial apps before federal employees download them. Third-party Android and iPhone apps have been known to harbor vulnerabilities -- either intentionally or inadvertently -- that could expose government data to outsiders. At the same time, agencies ...

Is There Ebola on That Smartphone?

August 20, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Medical staff treating patients with Ebola and other communicable diseases in Africa face a novel kind of smartphone security problem. When aiding Ebola patients, "What about the mobile device that you hand off to the next medical person?" said Rocky Young, a practicing physician assistant and director of cybersecurity, information ...

Foreign Government Agents Suspected of Hacking U.S. Nuclear Regulator

August 19, 2014 Nuclear Regulatory Commission computers within the past three years were successfully hacked by foreigners twice and also by an unidentifiable individual, according to an internal investigation. One incident involved emails sent to about 215 NRC employees in "a logon-credential harvesting attempt," according to an inspector general reportNextgov obtained through an ...

Behind the High Tech Forensics of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17

August 19, 2014 Dutch officials expect precise accuracy from DNA-matching software that will be used to identify many of the 298 Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 victims. But it is unknown whether there will be enough genetic evidence from the remains and relatives of the missing to ID everyone. As of Friday, 171 people ...