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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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If You Are in Debt, the IRS Might Have Leaked Your Social Security Number

April 13, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Updated: On April 14, the IRS provided an explanation for the problem. The story has been updated to reflect the agency's comment. Over the past year, the Internal Revenue Service has tangled with crafty thieves who fooled its systems into spitting out valuable data. Now, the tax agency faces another...

GSA Quizzes Companies on Cyber Capabilities

April 12, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The government's federal buying arm is quizzing industry about its cybersecurity offerings to give federal agencies more insight into the types of tools and technologies currently on the market that could help quash common cyberthreats. Feedback from contractors and information security experts to the General Services Administration "will help GSA...

Postal Service Agents Will Trawl Facebook, Dating Sites to Root Out Fraud

April 11, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A dishonest Postal Service employee, citing a bad back, says she can’t lift a thing, files for workers’ compensation, collects a paycheck and stays home from work. A simple visit to her Facebook page, however, shows the purportedly injured employee lifting weights at a bodybuilding competition. That hypothetical situation comes...

'Hey Siri, Fire For Effect': US Army Seeks Voice-Controlled Gear

April 11, 2016 A soldier in a Humvee who needs access to a map of land mines does not have time to type in a 10-character password and insert a smartcard to prove to a device he is not a hacker. But increasingly, this is the upshot as the military tightens cybersecurity to...

'Hey Siri, Call in an Airstrike': Army Seeks to Outfit Soldiers With Voice-Controlled Gear

April 11, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A soldier in a Humvee who needs access to a map of land mines does not have time to type in a 10-character password and insert a smartcard to prove to a device he is not a hacker. But increasingly, this is the upshot as the military tightens cybersecurity to...

Hackers Broadcast Furball Erotica Nationwide, Whomp Trump Hotels… Again & Steal IDs of Half of Turkish Population

April 11, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In case you missed our coverage this week in ThreatWatch, Nextgov’s regularly updated index of cyber breaches: Furball Erotica Replaces Regularly Scheduled Programming on Radio Stations Nationwide A hack by an unknown party caused some listeners of KIFT, a Colorado Top 40 radio station, to hear a sexually explicit podcast...

The Military Is Hiring a Rapid Cyber Response Team -- in Case Commissaries Get Hacked

April 8, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Updated April 11 with additional information from a Defense Commissary Agency spokesman. Military base grocery stores are vulnerable to computer hackers, according to the Pentagon, which says it needs private cyber forensics investigators on call. If a payment system breach were to occur, the team would respond within an hour....

DHS: Cyberattack on the Ukraine Power Grid Could Happen Here

April 6, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A type of cyberattack that recently turned off the lights in Ukraine could bring any vital U.S. sector to its knees, cautioned a top Homeland Security Department official. After leveraging a cribbed password, a group of unidentified hackers Dec. 23, 2015, knocked out power to 225,000 of the foreign country's...

Ex-NSA Deputy Director Wants Coded Messages for All

April 6, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The former National Security Agency deputy director wants encryption on more consumer technologies. However, techies, entrepreneurs and the feds should first be hashing out its application, to defuse tensions over the prospect of coded messages for all, Chris Inglis said. "We need to see it flourish in broader society," he...

The Pentagon Still Hasn't Decided Who's In Charge If America Comes Under Cyberattack

April 4, 2016 One of the Pentagon’s key missions is to lend a hand—or a drone—during natural disasters or other domestic emergencies. But it is unclear, in the event of of a massive data breach, which element of the Defense Department is in charge of military support, according to Congress' watchdog agency. In...