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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 Pay Family’s AT&T Bill, Phish for Celeb Nudies, and Infiltrate the UN World Tourism Organization

February 29, 2016 In case you missed our coverage this week in ThreatWatch, Nextgov’s regularly updated index of cyber breaches: Oregon Man Cops to Phishing for Naked Pics of Celebs Andrew Helton, 29, admits he misrepresented himself as an Apple and Google employee in fraudulent emails sent to Apple and Gmail account holders...

Spy Mapping Agency Isn't Going Dark Anytime Soon

February 29, 2016 The second in command at the Pentagon's spy mapping agency says her problem with bad guys exploiting advances in digital communications is almost the opposite of a handicap the FBI says it has. The challenge for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency is not one of “going dark” but of too much...

DHS Says: No Need for $675M Cyber Contract. We’ve Already Got It under Control.

February 26, 2016 The Department of Homeland Security says it will not resuscitate a more than half-billion dollar cyber contract it abandoned earlier this month after a 2-year competition. A federal contracting association representing would-be project participants had voiced frustration about the secrecy surrounding the Feb. 8 cancellation that, according to its members,...

Contractors Annoyed After DHS Scraps $675M Cyber Contract

February 25, 2016 A trade group representing federal contractors says it is frustrated the Department of Homeland Security has left vendors in the dark after scrapping a 2-year competition for cybersecurity support jobs. The explanation for the cancellation of the Cyber Centric Mission Support Services program, according to the Professional Services Council, had...

Behind the Air Force's Fast-Growing Cyber Research Budget

February 24, 2016 It's an annual puzzle for the Defense Department, congressional appropriators, defense contractors and hackers: Calculating how much money the armed forces should spend on protecting weapons systems and warfighting documents, along with attacking adversary networks, can be like taking a shot in the dark. Consider, for example, the Air Force...

Why is the Air Force’s Cyber R&D Budget Skyrocketing?

February 24, 2016 It's an annual puzzle for the Defense Department, congressional appropriators, defense contractors and hackers: Calculating how much money the armed forces should spend on protecting weapons systems and warfighting documents, along with attacking adversary networks, can be like taking a shot in the dark. Consider, for example, the Air Force...

California Says Companies Should Embrace NSA-developed Data Protections

February 23, 2016 The state of California has put companies on notice that they should be following a basic set of 20 information security controls developed by the U.S. government's top code breakers. Many of the 657 data breaches California businesses and agencies reported during the past four years could have been prevented...

FAA Concerned about ‘Evolving Cyber Events’

February 22, 2016 The Federal Aviation Administration needs urgent help to protect its systems from looming cyber threats, according to federal contracting documents. "Due to evolving and potential cyber events, the FAA requires critical and immediate cybersecurity methodology support to protect FAA infrastructure from malicious activities," states a Feb. 9 presolicitation notice. An...

Embattled OPM CIO Steps Down

February 22, 2016 This story has been updated. Donna Seymour, Office of Personnel Management chief information officer, is stepping down, amid repeated calls for her ouster following last year's massive breach of 21.5 million private records on national security personnel and family members. Seymour and other federal officials were scheduled to testify before...

Treasury Needs $110M Piggy Bank to Combat IRS Hackers and Other Expected 'Cyberattacks'

February 22, 2016 The Treasury Department says it needs a central cashbox to draw from for security fixes that could lessen the blow of anticipated hack attacks against the Internal Revenue Service, banks and other systems handling trillions of dollars. A White House-ordered search for “high-value” data holdings attractive to hackers emphasized the...