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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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9 States Accept DHS' Election Security Support

September 21, 2016 Less than 20 percent of states have asked the Homeland Security Department for help assessing the security of machines at the polls and for scans of online voter registration databases ahead of the presidential election, a DHS official says. DHS, the federal agency tasked with protecting U.S. networks, on Friday...

The NSA Is Using Bomb-Defusing Software to Grow the Next Generation of Analysts

September 14, 2016 At this moment, cybersecurity students are scouring networks for a secret computer program designed to trigger a (prop) roadside bomb, in a twist on the National Security Agency's annual coed codebreaking contest, according to NSA officials. A few days ago, the agency provided college undergraduates and graduate students with file...

NSA Dares College Students to Locate, Disarm Bombs Controlled through the Net

September 14, 2016 At this moment, cybersecurity students are scouring networks for a secret computer program designed to trigger a (prop) roadside bomb, in a twist on the National Security Agency's annual coed codebreaking contest, according to NSA officials. A few days ago, the agency provided college undergraduates and graduate students with file...

Congressional Probe Says OPM Hackers Arrived in 2012 And We Will Never Know What They Took

September 7, 2016 A new congressional probe into a massive Office of Personnel Management hack reveals the first traces of adversary activity on OPM's network date back to 2012, too far back in time to know what else beyond 21.5 million background check records might have been compromised. Today, Republicans on the House...

The Military’s Supermarket Goes Shopping for Better Encryption

September 4, 2016 The Defense Department's $6 billion supermarket chain needs tighter security for the secret keys fastening its hundreds of databases, Pentagon officials say. Currently, those keys—lengthy, computer-generated passwords—essentially are stored underneath the doormat, beside personal and financial data, contracting documents show. "In today’s solutions, the keys reside with the data and...

Military Supermarket Chain's Encryption Setup is 'Unacceptable,' Commissary Says

September 2, 2016 The Defense Department's $6 billion supermarket chain needs tighter security for the secret keys fastening its hundreds of databases, Pentagon officials say. Currently, those keys—lengthy, computer-generated passwords—essentially are stored underneath the doormat, beside personal and financial data, contracting documents show. "In today’s solutions, the keys reside with the data and...

At Least One State Rejects Feds' Offer to Help Cybersecure Voting Machines

August 25, 2016 At least one state has declined an offer from the Homeland Security Department to scan its voting systems for hackers ahead of the presidential elections. As suspected Russian-sponsored attackers compromise Democratic Party and other U.S. political data allegedly to sway voter opinion, some security experts say it wouldn't even take...

At Least One State Declines Offer for DHS Voting Security

August 25, 2016 At least one state has declined an offer from the Homeland Security Department to scan its voting systems for hackers ahead of the presidential elections. As suspected Russian-sponsored attackers compromise Democratic Party and other U.S. political data allegedly to sway voter opinion, some security experts say it wouldn't even take...

VA's Latest Benefit: On-Demand Cyber Training

August 19, 2016 Your hacked credit card account could be the ultimate beneficiary of a relatively new perk the Homeland Security Department is offering former service members. A DHS online school is providing vets classes in malware analysis, mobile security and ethical hacking, among other subjects, as the number of open cyber jobs...

There’s a Big Loophole in the Pentagon’s Guide to Eavesdropping

August 19, 2016 A privacy update to 1982 Defense Department rules for conducting surveillance on Americans contains a loophole that lets the National Security Agency continue eavesdropping on a wide swath of online conversations, critics say. "DOD Manual 5240.01: Procedures Governing the Conduct of DOD Intelligence Activities" was last issued when all email...