author archives

Aliya Sternstein

Senior Correspondent

Aliya Sternstein reports on cybersecurity and homeland security systems for Nextgov. She has covered technology for nine years at such publications as National Journal's TechnologyDaily, Federal Computer Week and Forbes. Before joining Government Executive, she covered agriculture and derivatives trading for Congressional Quarterly. She has been a guest commentator on C-SPAN, WTOP and Federal News Radio. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.

Results 1-10 of 1926

How to Tell If Hackers Are Attacking Your Utility System Through Heartbleed

April 17, 2014 The branch of the Homeland Security Department defending critical private networks on Thursday issued a bulletin listing 14 hallmarks that indicate a hacker has tried to take advantage of the Heartbleed bug in company systems. The hope is that key U.S. sectors -- utilities, for instance -- will load the ...

DHS Wants to Recycle Its Own Computers

April 16, 2014 The Homeland Security Department is considering creating its own DHS-wide computer hardware recycling program, according to department officials. That way, Homeland Security can pocket more proceeds than using the current General Services Administration-run salvaging service, IT consultants say. The office of the DHS chief information officer "would like to establish ...

From the Cloud to Your Pentagon-Issued Phone

April 15, 2014 Defense officials are in the process of figuring out how to adapt Web-based collaboration tools into apps that can be accessed from any computer, including tablets and smartphones. The department is partnering with vendors so that as they develop cloud services, those programs can be accessed from mobile devices, Jennifer ...

Qualifying Cyber Command Staff Is Harder Than You Think

April 14, 2014 The Coast Guard Cyber Command aims to qualify a couple of service members for what Pentagon officials have said will be a 2,000-member force within the next two years. It will take all the military services a lot of time and money to get their members qualified for the force. ...

Federal Websites Avoid Heartbleed Risks, DHS Says

April 11, 2014 The government’s main public websites are not at risk from the security vulnerability Heartbleed, the Homeland Security Department said Friday, although many of the sites -- including HealthCare.gov -- were built on systems that were susceptible. Officials declined to provide details on how sites hosted by compromised systems, such as ...

How the IRS Is Leaving Your Financial Data Unprotected

April 9, 2014 The tax agency needs to better audit its own accounts, according to the Government Accountability Office. GAO officials during the past year discovered that Internal Revenue Service was not sufficiently monitoring databases for abnormal activity that could indicate a breach. They also found poor encryption on key agency systems. In ...

Interior Trusts Other Agencies’ Cloud Security Judgments

April 8, 2014 The Interior Department is among the few agencies renting computer space in the commercial cloud without testing for security holes, according to Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program officials. Interior is throwing its trust behind FedRAMP, a cloud evaluation program that offers all agencies documentation showing that a vendor's storage, ...

Nuclear Facility Security System Implicated in Nun Break-In Now Fixed

April 7, 2014 A $52 million security system for a Tennessee nuclear weapons complex was completed early and under budget, Energy Department officials announced on Monday, despite performance failures that contributed to a 2012 break-in by an 82-year-old nun. The National Nuclear Security Administration initiative initially was expected to finish in June and ...

DHS Prepares Overhaul of Internal Security Operations

April 4, 2014 The Homeland Security Department late Thursday announced future plans to overhaul an organization that defends DHS’ own internal networks. A counter-hack mechanism called the intrusion defense chain, or "kill chain” -- developed by researchers at Lockheed Martin -- is expected to drive the revamp, according to DHS officials. The current ...

DHS Quietly Delivers Hacker Footprints to Industry

April 2, 2014 A little-known website sitting behind a firewall has been exchanging sensitive hack intelligence between companies and agencies at a rate of one new threat hallmark per hour, a top Homeland Security Department official said. The Cybersecurity Information Sharing and Collaboration Program, launched in 2011, virtually convenes about 70 critical industry ...