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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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DHS to Tap Silicon Valley for Doggie Fitbits, Facial Recognition Tech

April 28, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Tomorrow, Menlo Park-area techies and investors will meet with Homeland Security Department personnel for an interactive lesson in U.S. Customs and Border Protection 101. It’s the latest DHS effort to draw Silicon Valley brainpower and technology into a department that, like much of the federal government, is facing technical difficulties....

When Will We Ever Learn? 92 Percent of Hacks Detected Months After the Fact

April 26, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Hackers now find their bounty within seconds, while their victims take longer than ever before to discover uninvited company in their computers, according to new data from Verizon, the U.S. government and investigators worldwide. As if that statistic isn’t disturbing enough, 92 percent of all data breaches are detected by...

My Bad! Employee Slipups Lead to More Government Hacks Than Cyber Espionage

April 26, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Governments in 2015 suffered more data breaches by goofing up and losing stuff, than by succumbing to the wiles of cyberspies. That is the finding of security analysts from Verizon, the Homeland Security Department, the Pentagon and dozens of other public and private sector organizations in a report published today....

Committee Fears International Cyber Deal’s Impact on Pentagon

April 25, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow House lawmakers say an export controls pact that restricts hacking tools could actually compromise U.S. weapons systems. The Pentagon would have to report to Congress on how the agreement will impact the Defense Department and its allies, under legislation passed by the Armed Services Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee. The...

Lawmakers Want the Pentagon's Red Team Hackers to Be More Like China and Iran

April 25, 2016 Legislators want mandatory, specialized training for U.S. cybersecurity troops who play the role of the enemy in war games. The requirement, rolled into a defense authorization bill, marks a bid to continuously test U.S. cyber forces, while minimizing the chances of confusing real threats with fictional ones. Each geographic combatant...

Hackers Prey On Hospital ICU Restroom, Disrobe Members of Celeb-Nudie Site and Defraud Archdiocese Staff

April 25, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In case you missed our coverage this week in ThreatWatch, Nextgov’s regularly updated index of cyber breaches. New York Doc Planted Spy Cams in ICU Restroom to Catch Alleged Druggie Coworker Jeffrey Gould, 32, is accused of hiding two cameras in a bathroom of Crouse Hospital in Syracuse. The pair...

Lawmakers Want Training for Hackers Who Play China and Iran in War Games

April 25, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Legislators want mandatory, specialized training for U.S. cybersecurity troops who play the role of the enemy in war games. The requirement, rolled into a defense authorization bill, marks a bid to continuously test U.S. cyber forces, while minimizing the chances of confusing real threats with fictional ones. Each geographic combatant...

The Cell Phone-Monitoring Agency You’ve Never Heard Of

April 21, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A federal agency dedicated to monitoring cellular network traffic was watching last December as calls flooded San Bernardino 911 dispatchers. Nope, not the National Security Agency or the Federal Communications Commission. It was the National Coordinating Center for Communications, an obscure part of the Homeland Security Department. NCC “had a...

Juniper Code Hack Remains a Whodunit

April 20, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The coding hack in Juniper communications technology popular within the federal government is still a whodunit after two hours of congressional testimony. We do not know where the unauthorized code found in the company's IT firewalls and virtual private networks came from. We do not know if bad guys squeezed...

How Far Did the Juniper Hack Go? ‘Some of That Gear Was in Place for Years,’ DHS Official Says

April 19, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Within a month of the discovery of a potential spying hole in widely used Juniper networking tools, federal agencies identified which of their critical operations were affected. But the possibility remains that hackers tapped U.S. government communications before that scavenger hunt, a top Homeland Security Department official said Tuesday. Tomorrow,...