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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 Hate on Health Care: Delaying Meals, Holding a Hospital Hostage, Stealing Brain Patient IDs and Exposing Battered Women

February 22, 2016 In case you missed our coverage this week in ThreatWatch, Nextgov’s regularly updated index of cyber breaches: Flint, Mich., Hospital Emails Show Hacktivists Infected Workstations Newly obtained documents reveal that on Jan. 17, Hurley Medical Center’s IT staff informed employees a virus "has infected most" of the hospital's computers, adding...

Head of DHS' Emergency Cyber Unit Stepping Down

February 19, 2016 The Department of Homeland Security official responsible for coordinating federal responses to hack attacks will depart next week, according to DHS. During her three years in office, Ann Barron-DiCamillo, head of the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team, has been a mainstay on Capitol Hill and on the industry conference circuit,...

Ex-White House Cyber Chief Joins with Tech Firms to Tackle Bug Bounties

February 18, 2016 The former White House senior cybersecurity director has rallied major security vendors to lobby lawmakers and agencies on cyber regulations, under a new umbrella organization. The issues they intend to tackle range from the global debate over encryption to the minutia of the federal cybersecurity budget, said Ari Schwartz, coordinator...

These Perks Could Entice Hackers to Work for CYBERCOM. But does HR Know About Them?

February 17, 2016 Lawmakers have approved some sweet pay packages in hopes of enticing hackers to join the ranks of the U.S. military. But congressional researchers say human resources staff are unaware of the new incentives. Now, the Senate Armed Services Committee is considering additional legislation to mandate that HR employees staffing the...

Hackers Abscond with Florida Hospital Records, Release Sex Video of Gay Teacher; DC Special Ed Student Data Leaked

February 16, 2016 In case you missed our coverage this week in ThreatWatch, Nextgov’s regularly updated index of cyber breaches: DC Displayed Private Information on 12,000 Students with Disabilities The accident occurred when someone in the District’s Office of the State Superintendent of Education uploaded the data to a public D.C. Council account...

Obama’s War on Hackers

February 12, 2016 Hackers are now probing the deepest secrets of every federal agency, according to the Department of Homeland Security's cyber chief. But it's OK: The intruders are from DHS. It’s part of an exercise the agency is undertaking to test vulnerabilities in federal computer systems full of sensitive data that are...

Crooks Tricked This IRS System into Providing False IDs

February 11, 2016 Identity thieves tricked an Internal Revenue Service system into issuing them PINs under the names of other taxpayers so they could file for their victims' refunds, according to the tax agency. The so-called e-file PINs are required to file federal returns electronically, if you are missing other acceptable types of...

Hacker May Have Punched Through FBI Cyber Security With One Phone Call

February 10, 2016 The departments of Justice and Homeland Security are investigating a Justice hack allegedly made possible by the enemy of secure logins—IT support. Many federal agencies, including Justice, recently switched on two-factor authentication intended to stop hackers from busting into government databases with merely a password. But that second factor for...

Justice, DHS Probe Hack Allegedly Made Possible By DOJ Help Desk

February 10, 2016 The departments of Justice and Homeland Security are investigating a Justice hack allegedly made possible by the enemy of secure logins -- IT support. Many federal agencies, including Justice, recently switched on two-factor authentication intended to stop hackers from busting into government databases with merely a password. But that second...

White House Wants to Revamp Cybersecurity In New $19B Plan

February 9, 2016 The White House today proposed spending 35 percent more on IT security efforts in 2017 and announce an immediate opening for a U.S. chief information security officer. The funding and personnel adjustments come after a year of constant disclosures about agency hacks that, in the most egregious case, compromised 21.5...