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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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How to Breach a Government Benefits Site

May 27, 2015 Login procedures exploited by crooks to steal tens of millions of dollars from the Internal Revenue Service are also used by HealthCare.gov, the Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to help administer benefits. And that’s raising questions about once tried-and-true identity-protection measures. First, let’s explain how ...

NSA Trying to Track Your Smartphone Finger Strokes

May 25, 2015 The National Security Agency has tested the use of smartphone-swipe recognition technology, according to the tool’s manufacturer. The mobile device feature, created by Lockheed Martin, verifies a user's identity based on the swiftness and shape of the individual’s finger strokes on a touch screen. The technology is but one incarnation ...

The Pentagon Is Rethinking a $475 Million Cyber Defense Proposal

May 25, 2015 Cyber Command has called off a sweeping solicitation that would have outsourced support for cyberspying and network attacks against foreigners, as well as the defense of military networks. As of Friday afternoon, there were few details on why the five-year-old command, which is racing to staff up, revoked an April ...

NSA Tests Out Smartphones that Recognize Handwriting Motion

May 25, 2015 The National Security Agency has tested the use of smartphone-swipe recognition technology, according to the tool’s manufacturer. The mobile device feature, created by Lockheed Martin, verifies a user's identity based on the swiftness and shape of the individual’s finger strokes on a touch screen. The technology is but one incarnation ...

Pentagon Kills $475M Cyber Contract

May 22, 2015 Cyber Command has called off a sweeping solicitation that would have outsourced support for cyberspying and network attacks against foreigners, as well as the defense of military networks. As of Friday afternoon, there were few details on why the five-year-old command, which is racing to staff up, revoked an April ...

Hackers Scavenge CareFirst and Manipulate the Federal Reserve

May 22, 2015 In case you missed our coverage this week in ThreatWatch, Nextgov’s regularly updated index of cyber breaches: Health Insurer CareFirst Popped By Hackers CareFirst, a Blue Cross Blue Shield plan, said the attack occurred nearly a year ago. It is not clear if this incident is related to two other ...

3-year Prison Sentence for Hacker Who Fraudulently Ordered $1M Worth of Agency Office Supplies

May 20, 2015 A judge on Wednesday sent a Nigerian man to prison for breaking into federal employees' email accounts to send orders for print toner and other administrative items, according to the Justice Department. Abiodun Adejohn, 31, pled guilty to his involvement in the scam last June and had faced up to ...

The Navy Is Trying To Hack-Proof Its Drones

May 20, 2015 The Navy says it's not sure what kind of cyber threats its drones, sensors and missiles are up against. That's because aerial weapons systems were not expected to become part of the so-called Internet of Things, the present-day entanglement of networked appliances, transportation systems and other data-infused objects. So, the ...

The Army Is Shopping for Cyber Weapons

May 19, 2015 The Army is seeking the assistance of cyberattack tool sellers, joining a growing number of Pentagon entities aiming to amass advanced cyber capabilities. A new market survey aimed at identifying suppliers is the third Defense Department document issued over the past month that points out a need to be able ...

Navy Needs Help Making Sure Its Drones are Hack-Proof

May 19, 2015 The Navy says it's not sure what kind of cyber threats its drones, sensors and missiles are up against. That's because aerial weapons systems were not expected to become part of the so-called Internet of Things, the present-day entanglement of networked appliances, transportation systems and other data-infused objects. So, the ...