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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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Privacy Guidebook for Eavesdropping on Americans Draws Flack

August 18, 2016 A privacy update to 1982 Defense Department rules for conducting surveillance on Americans contains a loophole that lets the National Security Agency continue eavesdropping on a wide swath of online conversations, critics say. "DOD Manual 5240.01: Procedures Governing the Conduct of DOD Intelligence Activities" was last issued when all email...

DOD IG to Probe Security of Army Patient Records

August 4, 2016 The Pentagon inspector general on Thursday announced plans to audit, starting this month, the security of Army digital patient files. The probe comes at a time when government and private hospitals are up against employees who inadvertently compromise health care records and bad guys who extort money in exchange for...

Hackers Pocket Credit Cards While Processing USPS Mail, Snap Selfies with Dying Patients and Leak DNC Donor Voicemails

August 1, 2016 In case you missed our coverage this week in ThreatWatch, Nextgov’s regularly updated index of cyber breaches: Former USPS Worker Allegedly Ripped Credit Cards from Envelopes to Buy Designer Handbags, Cars An ex-U.S. Postal Service processing clerk has been charged with stealing credit cards from undelivered mail while working at...

Maybe the Secret Service Should Start Protecting Candidates’ Email As Well

July 29, 2016 Maybe it's time the Secret Service starts cracking down on the computer security of presidential candidates, in addition to their physical security, some private cyber investigators say, after a leak of Democratic party files right before the nomination of Hillary Clinton for president. On Wednesday, President Barack Obama intimated Russians...

Should Secret Service Protect Emails of Future Presidents?

July 27, 2016 Maybe it's time the Secret Service starts cracking down on the computer security of presidential candidates, in addition to their physical security, some private cyber investigators say, after a leak of Democratic party files right before the nomination of Hillary Clinton for president. On Wednesday, President Barack Obama intimated Russians...

Obama Finally Decides Who’s In Charge When America Comes Under Cyberattack

July 27, 2016 The White House has placed the Justice Department squarely in charge of responding to cyberthreats against the United States, under a presidential directive issued Tuesday. At the same time, the Homeland Security Department will immediately help agencies and companies, if requested, stanch the bleeding from a hacker assault on networks,...

Obama Establishes Cyberattack Response Chain of Command

July 26, 2016 The White House has placed the Justice Department squarely in charge of responding to cyberthreats against the United States, under a presidential directive issued Tuesday. At the same time, the Homeland Security Department will immediately help agencies and companies, if requested, stanch the bleeding from a hacker assault on networks,...

Hackers Grab Illinois Voter Records and Dump ISIS Propagandist’s Internal Data; Glassdoor Accidentally Outs Users

July 25, 2016 In case you missed our coverage this week in ThreatWatch, Nextgov’s regularly updated index of cyber breaches: Voter Records Copied Off Compromised Illinois Voter Registry The Illinois State Board of Elections online voter registration has been hacked. “The attackers took advantage of a programming flaw in the website’s database," The...

Pentagon Wants to Automate Social-Media Checks on Clearance Holders

July 20, 2016 The Pentagon is conducting market research for a planned 12-month "social media checks" pilot that would analyze public posts to help determine an employee's suitability for Defense Intelligence Agency classified work. The effort is part of a shift away from screening intelligence and military staff every five years, as is...

House Committee Chair Opens Inquiry Into Foreigners’ Access to OPM Data

July 19, 2016 The House Science, Space and Technology Committee is questioning whether foreign nationals may have had direct access to sensitive Office of Personnel Management data before a historic OPM hack attack was disclosed last summer. The agency recently told federal auditors that nation state-sponsored cyberattacks are the gravest and most common...

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