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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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Obama cybersecurity enforcement plan could backfire, senator warns

May 23, 2011 A key lawmaker assessing a White House bill to strengthen cybersecurity warned that the proposal's plan for policing critical commercial networks -- by disclosing audits of their security practices -- could inadvertently steer U.S. adversaries to vulnerable targets. "The evaluation of that [company's security] plan would be publicly accessible," Sen....

DISA Dishes on Cyber Contractors

May 20, 2011 Here's what the Pentagon's Defense Information Systems Agency really thinks about cybersecurity contractors: "What we don't love so much is once [you] get that foot in the door, we're pulled in and held hostage. Keep in mind the idea that as you win contracts and you get DoD business, don't...

Tighter Defense budget may mean tighter cybersecurity

May 20, 2011 President Obama's quest to shave $400 billion off the Pentagon's budget by 2023 may have the positive effect of forcing the services to eliminate redundant cybersecurity programs and combine networks Defensewide, senior Pentagon officials said Friday. Budget analysts say the department's 2012 proposal for spending $3.2 billion on information assurance...

Interior center inadvertently exposes personal data of thousands of SEC employees

May 19, 2011 An Interior Department payroll processing center that provides services to several agencies unintentionally exposed the full names and Social Security numbers of nearly 4,000 Securities and Exchange Commission employees earlier this month, according to Interior officials. On May 4, a customer support contractor inadvertently replied to a routine question from...

Reitinger's departure was not unexpected

May 19, 2011 Philip Reitinger, the Homeland Security Department's lead computer security official, checked off key tasks on DHS' to-do list before settling on June 3 as the date he will step aside to spend the summer with his young children, say sources familiar with his thinking. Besides negotiating new authorities for DHS...

from govexec

From Nextgov: Interior center inadvertently exposes personal data of SEC employees

May 19, 2011 An Interior Department payroll processing center that provides services to several agencies unintentionally exposed the full names and Social Security numbers of nearly 4,000 Securities and Exchange Commission employees earlier this month, according to Interior officials. Read the full story on Nextgov.com.

U.S. border agents to snag drug-smuggling jets with Canadian military radar

May 18, 2011 The Homeland Security Department this fall plans to employ military-grade radar feeds from Canada to spot low-altitude aircraft smuggling drugs, but officials have not stationed any license-plate cameras to catch vehicles carrying the cash that funds such illicit flights. While drug trafficking is more prevalent along the southern border than...

from govexec

From Nextgov.com: U.S. border agents to snag drug-smuggling jets with Canadian military radar

May 18, 2011 The Homeland Security Department this fall plans to employ military-grade radar feeds from Canada to spot low-altitude aircraft smuggling drugs, but officials have not stationed any license-plate cameras to catch vehicles carrying the cash that funds such illicit flights. Read the whole story at Nextgov.com.

DHS accused of hiding fingerprinting data

May 17, 2011 Plaintiffs in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit contend the Homeland Security Department is attempting to hide information on a controversial immigrant fingerprinting program by refusing to release court-ordered email trails. Under the program, called Secure Communities, officials check the digital fingerprints of people booked by local law enforcement against...

from govexec

Nextgov.com: DHS accused of hiding fingerprinting data

May 17, 2011 Plaintiffs in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit contend the Homeland Security Department is attempting to hide information on a controversial immigrant fingerprinting program by refusing to release court-ordered email trails. Read the whole story at Nextgov.com.