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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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Researchers Uncover the File That Triggered RSA SecurID Breach

August 26, 2011 Researchers have located an infected email that cyberspies in March sent personnel at federal contractor EMC to steal security-sensitive information from the maker of widely-used RSA SecurID network login products, said officials at F-Secure Security Labs Friday. Apparently, an EMC employee, again, was responsible for the data exposure. In March,...

Mother Nature and nuclear reactors prove powerful allies for communications advocates

August 25, 2011 Emergency phone and Internet systems have been deployed for federal radiological responders to aid Virginia's North Anna nuclear power plant in the event any problems develop as a result of Tuesday's earthquake or the arrival of Hurricane Irene, agency officials said. But there are no such dedicated communication lines between...

National Archives Shreds SEC Over Records Trashing Allegations

August 19, 2011 The National Archives and Records Administration is lambasting the Securities and Exchange Commission for allegedly destroying digital records, amid reports that the agency deleted thousands of files on financial institutions under scrutiny. SEC had not forged an agreement with NARA on a timetable for deleting this information, so, under federal...

Auditors: IRS plan compromises security for e-payment users

August 19, 2011 The Internal Revenue Service glossed over computer security in planning for a new tax return law that applies to e-payment processors, government investigators said. The law kicks in during the 2012 filing season for the 2011 tax year. A tiny provision folded into the 2008 Housing and Economic Recovery Act...

Investigation reveals widespread insider hacking at immigration agency

August 18, 2011 A yearlong probe into computer fraud at an immigration application processing center uncovered multiple incidents of internal hacking where staff accessed management-level emails and other confidential files, according to Homeland Security Department interviews, network analyses and internal emails obtained by Nextgov. The investigation began in January 2008, when officials at...

from govexec

From Nextgov: Investigation reveals widespread insider hacking at immigration agency

August 18, 2011 A yearlong probe into computer fraud at an immigration application processing center uncovered multiple incidents of internal hacking where staff accessed management-level emails and other confidential files, according to Homeland Security Department interviews, network analyses and internal emails obtained by Nextgov. Read the whole story at Nextgov.com.

A decade after Sept. 11 attacks, Homeland Security leaders reflect on progress

August 17, 2011 Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on Wednesday looped industry leaders into the See Something, Say Something messaging campaign by showing them new public service announcements for their company websites. The public awareness movement, which was launched by the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority and now is ubiquitous in the Washington...

Foreign Contractors Can Check Employment Eligibility Online

August 16, 2011 Foreigners who aspire to work for federal contractors can now use a Spanish-language website to make sure their correct immigration status is on file with the government before their employers are required to do so -- avoiding potential unemployment. All personnel doing business with the government must pass muster with...

Dangerous Liaisons

August 15, 2011 Let's start with the fundamental lapse that started this mess--the Defense Department designed the underpinnings of the Internet to make information easy to swap, not easy to secure. Now, efforts to add protections often complicate information sharing. For instance, in an effort to prevent another WikiLeaks-like episode, where an employee...

from govexec

Dangerous Liaisons

August 15, 2011 High-profile data breaches are tipping the balance between connecting and protecting people. Let's start with the fundamental lapse that started this mess-the Defense Department designed the underpinnings of the Internet to make information easy to swap, not easy to secure. Now, efforts to add protections often complicate information sharing. For...