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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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The US Thinks China May Have Stolen Military Robot Designs

January 15, 2016 The federal government wants to know if hacked trade secrets are aiding the rise of an army of Chinese androids. At least one China-backed cyberspy operation reportedly snared robotics research from QinetiQ, a Pentagon contractor and the supposed inspiration for gadget-maker "Q" in the James Bond movie franchise. This week,...

US Hiring Researchers to See if China’s Military Robots Originate from Hacked Designs

January 15, 2016 The federal government wants to know if hacked trade secrets are aiding the rise of an army of Chinese androids. At least one China-backed cyberspy operation reportedly snared robotics research from QinetiQ, a Pentagon contractor and the supposed inspiration for gadget-maker "Q" in the James Bond movie franchise. This week,...

Number of Deaths in Police Custody Higher than Media Reports: DOJ Data

January 14, 2016 The story of police brutality playing out on city streets, in news accounts and on cellphone video footage has been missing one data point – a federal accounting of the problem. This spring, Justice Department-funded data scientists will present findings from a pilot project that, in essence, crowdsources facts on...

This Cyber ‘Safeguard’ Is Hurting US Defenses

January 13, 2016 A lawmaker from Virginia's high-tech corridor is pressing Congress to delete hacking tools from an international arms control agreement. The deal -- reached in 2013 -- bans multinational firms and cyber vendors from transmitting information about "intrusion software" across borders without first obtaining a license. When the Obama administration proposed...

DHS Cyber Czar, Tech Titans Tell Commerce to Rethink Hacking Arms Control

January 13, 2016 A lawmaker from Virginia's high-tech corridor is pressing Congress to delete hacking tools from an international arms control agreement. The deal -- reached in 2013 -- bans multinational firms and cyber vendors from transmitting information about "intrusion software" across borders without first obtaining a license. When the Obama administration proposed...

Pentagon Will Investigate NSA Crackdown on Would-Be Snowdens

January 12, 2016 A Defense Department inspector general is initiating a review of a National Security Agency crackdown on computer users who have access to too much information. Be it a rogue contractor or an unknowing employee with sloppy login and logoff habits, insiders are a major threat to U.S. secrets, sayresearchers and...

Pentagon Investigators to Probe NSA’s Crackdown on Rogue IT Employees

January 11, 2016 A Defense Department inspector general is initiating a review of a National Security Agency crackdown on computer users who have access to too much information. Be it a rogue contractor or an unknowing employee with sloppy login and logoff habits, insiders are a major threat to U.S. secrets, say researchers...

Hackers Steal IDs of Troubled DC Youths, Compromise Time Warner Cable Passwords & Deface Russian Minister’s Instagram

January 11, 2016 In case you missed our coverage this week in ThreatWatch, Nextgov’s regularly updated index of cyber breaches: Ex-D.C. Juvenile Justice Employee Sold Identities of Youth Offenders Marc Bell, 49, of Bowie, Maryland., worked from 2005 to 2013 at the D.C. Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, where he became a key...

OPM Hackers Netted Usernames, Social Security Numbers Years Ago

January 7, 2016 When a foreign power as early as 2013 first hacked the Office of Personnel Management and retrieved IT manuals for its network, swept up in the heist were the usernames and the last four digits of the Social Security numbers of certain system users. That detail was not disclosed to...

OPM Still Hasn’t Answered Questions on Background Check Hack, Republicans Say

January 6, 2016 Congress is still waiting for details requested five months ago from the Office of Personnel Management about an agency data breach that allowed U.S. adversaries to obtain information on 21.5 million federal employees, national security contractors and their families, according to some Republican lawmakers. During a House hearing Thursday, the...