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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Inside the Spy Mapping Agency's Virtual Reality Lab

June 21, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow 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...

Pentagon Prepares to Launch Mega Database for Screening National Security Workers

June 20, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow 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...

Hackers Shower Pro-ISIS Twitter Accounts With Rainbows, Steal US Jet Fighter Designs; Courthouse Mistakenly Leaks Defendants’ Data

June 20, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In case you missed our coverage this week in ThreatWatch, Nextgov’s regularly updated index of cyber breaches: Hackers Shower ISIS Twitter Accounts with Rainbows after Orlando Massacre Dozens of accounts that once promoted hatred now are showcasing gay-pride flags and even links to softcore gay pornography following the June 12...

DHS Hacker Warnings Will Soon Carry Reputation Scores

June 17, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Homeland Security Department will soon rate the trustworthiness of tip-offs about hacking groups it receives from outside sources before sharing them with other agencies and industry. A cybersecurity information-sharing law passed six months ago requires DHS to disseminate threat "indicators" -- hallmarks of a particular attack, like a certain...

Now You Can Tell Trump or Clinton How to Handle Hackers

June 15, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Now is your chance to weigh in on what the next U.S. president should do to keep hackers out of your information and the more than $260 billion digital economy. The newly formed Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity expects by early July to issue a request for information on what...

Where’s the Report on the Security of Unclassified IT Systems?

June 13, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The White House and the intelligence community faced a deadline last week to inventory unclassified IT systems from which attackers could glean classified material. Last December's $1.8 trillion federal spending bill ordered the Obama administration to provide its findings to Congress within 180 days. On Monday, the Office of the...

Hackers Breach FTC CTO's Phone Account, Announce Goodell’s Death Prematurely; WA Accidentally Doxxes Weed License Applicants

June 13, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In case you missed our coverage this week in ThreatWatch, Nextgov’s regularly updated index of cyber breaches: Personal Info on Marijuana License Applicants Doxxed by Wash. State The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board accidentally distributed sensitive data on applicants in response to a public records request. LCB had redacted...

$19 Billion National Cyber Plan Might Consolidate Hack Response Contracts

June 10, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Obama administration, as part of a $19 billion national cybersecurity plan, is contemplating a one-stop shop for agencies to quickly buy cyberincident response services. A new request for information asks security vendors for advice on consolidating preventive, reactive and fix-it help within the government’s biggest pre-approved IT contractor list....

Carter Proposes Letting Campus Recruiters Hire Cyber Students on the Spot

June 9, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Pentagon Secretary Ash Carter unveiled a slate of personnel reforms that include letting recruiters on college campuses hire information security whizzes straight away, and letting civilians swap places with techies at leading companies for short stints. Driving these changes, in part, is a concern that the Defense Department will lose...

US Homeland Security Could Get Its Own Cyber Defense Agency

June 8, 2016 A key House panel on Wednesday voted to create a new Homeland Security Department agency that reflects the primacy of cyber protection among DHS’ protective responsibilities. A bill introduced yesterday by the Homeland Security Committee – approved by a voice vote – would turn an existing DHS bureaucracy, the National...

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