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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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Hackers Copy Secret Army Files, Follow United Fliers, and Expose Planned Parenthood Employee Names

August 3, 2015 In case you missed our coverage this week in ThreatWatch, Nextgov’s regularly updated index of cyber breaches: Former Chinese Military Member Caught Downloading Secret Army Files Wei Chen, while serving as a U.S. defense contractor, allegedly plugged a personal thumb drive into computers connected to classified and unclassified networks, against...

White House Details ‘Cyber Sprint’ Progress, Says Congress Needs to Lift Sequester for Security Improvements

July 31, 2015 About 72 percent of computer users in the U.S. government now are restricted from accessing agency networks without a smart card, two months after revelations that a stolen password was used to expose secrets on millions of national security personnel. Still, more than a quarter of users need only a...

DHS Secretary OKs Bill to Monitor Federal Networks

July 31, 2015 An Obama administration top official has endorsed bipartisan legislation that would allow the Department of Homeland Security to surveil public Internet traffic on government networks. The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee approved the measure Wednesday, on the heels of devastating agency hacks. It now heads to the full...

Bill to Let DHS Monitor Internet Traffic on Government Systems Advances

July 30, 2015 A Senate panel on Wednesday voted to set into law the Department of the Homeland Security's responsibility to monitor public Internet traffic on all government systems. The bill is designed to minimize the harm from breaches like those that hit the Office of Personnel Management. The federal government was admittedly...

White House Preps New Cyber Policy Dealing with Federal Contractors

July 29, 2015 The Obama administration is preparing to release a new policy to homogenize the way vendors secure agency data. The proposal, which could be published as early as today, follows hacks at two background checkers and the Office of Personnel Management that potentially compromised the security of personnel who handle U.S....

Navy Man Allegedly Staged Photo Shoot Inside Classified Nuke Sub

July 27, 2015 A Navy employee allegedly snapped photos of secret components in a nuclear submarine that adversaries could use to overpower the United States, court filings show. But the newly unsealed papers contain no indication Kristian Saucier, 28, was acting out a script of the FX series "The Americans," in which KGB...

ID Theft Prevention Might Not Protect OPM Hack Victims, Top Democrat Says

July 27, 2015 Congress may never be able to protect 21.5 million data breach victims from security dangers by funding identity theft protections, the second highest-ranking House Democrat says. Lawmakers currently are crafting credit monitoring measures, but whoever stole background check data on U.S. personnel cleared to see classified intelligence might not have...

Hackers Take Aim at Census Employees, Compromise CVS Photo Customers, and Snoop on Epic Gamers

July 27, 2015 In case you missed our coverage this week in ThreatWatch, Nextgov’s regularly updated index of cyber breaches: Anonymous Leaks Internal Census Data to Protest Controversial Trade Deals The Census Bureau, part of the Commerce Department, recently bore the brunt of grievances about a proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership and Transatlantic Trade and...

Senate Committee Poised to Upgrade Agency Anti-Hacking Laws, Again

July 23, 2015 Federal data security legislation enacted in 2002 that was overhauled last December already is due for an upgrade owing to a confluence of events, say the bill’s authors. First, the Department of Homeland Security laid out a course to wrap its intrusion-thwarting system around all federal networks this year. But...

Senators Want Homeland Security To Be a Leading Cyber Defense Agency

July 22, 2015 Senators from both parties are pushing to position the Department of Homeland Security as the U.S. Cyber Command of the civilian government, after many agencies refused to fall into line on information security last year. Following the largest known hack of U.S. federal employee information, a bipartisan group of six...