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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What the Military Is Learning From a Chameleon Sandbox

June 29, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Defense Department is playing around with a shape-shifting, color-changing sandbox to limit the carnage from the next deadly flood, wildfire or other catastrophe. That is the promise behind the "Tangible Landscape." Made up of kinetic sand, a toy that feels like the stuff on the beach but has the...

Lawmakers Want to See If Dumbing Down Smart Grids Might Thwart Hackers

June 28, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Some Senate Republicans and Democrats want to see if unplugging critical parts of the power grid from the internet can help prevent digital attacks. Their proposed $11.5 million Securing Energy Infrastructure Act (S. 3018) would commission the National Laboratories to study electricity companies willing to pull offline their most-vital control...

Corrected: OPM Updates Data Breach Information Website

June 27, 2016 Editor’s Note: The original version of this article erroneously stated that the Office of Personnel Management had acknowledged for the first time that the 2015 background check breach had potentially impacted tens of millions more people than had been originally disclosed. OPM had in fact previously published information on the...

Hackers Plunder Clinton Foundation, Bankrupt Cryptocurrency VC Fund and Log into GoToMyPC

June 27, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In case you missed our coverage this week in ThreatWatch, Nextgov’s regularly updated index of cyber breaches: It Looks Like the DNC Hackers Also Plundered the Clinton Foundation The Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation is among the organizations breached by suspected Russian government-sponsored cyber spies in the lead up...

Corrected: OPM Updates Hack Info Website

June 27, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Editor’s Note: The original version of this article erroneously stated that the Office of Personnel Management had acknowledged for the first time that the 2015 background check breach had potentially impacted tens of millions more people than had been originally disclosed. OPM had in fact previously published information on the...

White House Cyber Commission May Endorse Security Ratings System for Software

June 24, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Early results from consumer safety tests of about 100,000 software applications will be released as early as next month from the lab of famed cybersecurity whiz Mudge. Mudge, whose given name is Peter Zatko, launched the Cyber Independent Testing Lab after receiving a call from the Obama administration last summer,...

DHS Readies Biometric ID Contract to Track Foreigners Who Stay Too Long

June 22, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Homeland Security Department is asking industry how to go about contracting out the activation of a long-overdue system for scanning the biological traits of foreigners when they leave. The potentially $7.2 billion technology operation is needed so individuals who overstay their visits don't go unnoticed, lawmakers have said ever...

Virtual Reality Comes to US Military's Mapping Agency

June 22, 2016 One day, a Foreign Service officer in Somalia might be able to use his smartphone camera to help swiftly reconstruct war devastation for eyes wrapped in Oculus 3-D headgear back in Washington. Virtual reality is not all fun and games. It’s one tool America's spy mapping agency uses to offer...

Foreign Government Hackers Are the Gravest and Most Common Threat, Agencies Say

June 21, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The gravest attacks -- and most common -- perpetrated against agency networks involved nation states, according to an audit that happened to be released amid accusations the Russian government allegedly hacked the Democratic National Committee. The Government Accountability Office assessment comes one year after the Office of Personnel Management disclosed...

The Pentagon Is About to Launch A Big Database for Screening National Security Workers

June 21, 2016 The Pentagon next month is slated to launch one mega database for investigating the trustworthiness of personnel who could have access to federal facilities and computer systems. The Defense Information System for Security, or DISS, will consolidate two existing tools used for vetting employees and job applicants. The reboot represents...

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