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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 Threaten Berkeley H.S. African Americans, Adjust College Applicants’ Class Rankings, and Swipe Michigan Casino Customers' Cards

November 9, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In case you missed our coverage this week in ThreatWatch, Nextgov’s regularly updated index of cyber breaches: Tirade Posted on Hacked Berkeley High Computer Threatened African Americans The offender overrode protections on a computer in the school library, and according to one observer, “changed the homepage to reflect a racist...

UPDATED: Teens Who Hacked CIA Chief’s AOL Email Now Allege Breaching FBI Systems

November 6, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow This story has been updated with a response from the FBI. Teenagers bent on embarrassing U.S. government officials claim to have broken into several federal systems, as well as obtained private contact details for thousands of law enforcement and military employees. Last month, the same group took responsibility for hacking...

Does the White House Plan to Curb High-Profile Hacks Rely Too Much on Tech?

November 5, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A longterm White House strategy for ratcheting up federal computer security is expected to move a lot of product, injecting billions of dollars into the cyber market. But some critics say technology will not be able to handle a weakness at the root of recent high-profile hacks – IT management....

The Secret Pentagon Push for Lethal Cyber Weapons

November 5, 2015 Under a forthcoming nearly half-billion-dollar military contract, computer code capable of killing adversaries is expected to be developed and deployed if necessary, according to contractors vying for the work and former Pentagon officials. U.S. troops would have the power to launch logic bombs, instead of traditional explosive projectiles, which essentially...

Pentagon Contractors Developing Lethal Cyber Weapons

November 4, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Under a forthcoming nearly half-billion-dollar military contract, computer code capable of killing adversaries is expected to be developed and deployed if necessary, according to contractors vying for the work and former Pentagon officials. U.S. troops would have the power to launch logic bombs, instead of traditional explosive projectiles, which essentially...

Should ID Theft Protection Be a Standard Federal Employee Benefit?

November 3, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow This story has been updated to add new details from the Office of Personnel Management. Credit monitoring could become a standard perk for federal employees, right along with dental insurance, if the Office of Personnel Management endorses an idea tossed up by the White House. And many recently-hacked government workers...

Hackers Raid Human Rights Center and Pwn Free Web Hosting Service; Marks & Spencer Accidentally Breaches Customer Data

November 2, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In case you missed our coverage this week in ThreatWatch, Nextgov’s regularly updated index of cyber breaches: S.C. Hospital Employee Accused of Compromising Thousands of Patient, Staff Records Bon Secours St. Francis Health System is investigating a multiyear data breach allegedly orchestrated by a staffer. This summer, other employees began...

Pop Quiz: Which Navy N00bs Have a Gift for Stopping Hacks?

October 30, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Navy is preparing to experiment with an exam aimed at predicting the types of sailors capable of grasping cybersecurity skills without ever having picked up a book or keyboard. The hope is that finding diamonds in the rough will help the branch, along with the rest of the Pentagon,...

White House Issues Governmentwide Cyber Action Plan

October 30, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The White House on Friday issued a broad new plan designed to better respond to cybersecurity incidents such as those that exposed secrets on millions of citizens as well as government operations. The new guidance, which aims to protect the most high-value information assets the federal government holds, is the...

The Military’s SAT Could Soon Test for Cybersecurity Smarts

October 29, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Like prospective undergraduates, aspiring troops take a standardized entrance examination that gauges verbal and math skills, among other cognitive abilities. But unlike the SAT, the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery might soon assess Navy applicants’ cybersecurity aptitude. Exactly what dexterities the cyber section would test remains an open question. "A...