author archives

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.

Results 21-30 of 2187

Inspectors Warn: Scrap Proposed $443 Million Border Drone Surge

January 6, 2015 U.S. unmanned jets fielded to catch border trespassers have not proved their worth -- with an annual cost of $62.5 million and few apprehensions to show for it, according to a federal watchdog report. The study, released Tuesday, also found the Department of Homeland Security lowballed spending for drone operations ...

US Digital Service Hauled in to Shore up White House Security After Hack

January 6, 2015 After a breach of unclassified White House internal networks last fall, the Obama administration hauled in a team of former Silicon Valley tech mavens to help patch up network security. The U.S. Digital Service -- the newly minted federal IT fix-it shop headed by former Google engineer Mikey Dickerson -- ...

NWS Says 'No Involvement' from China-Owned Unit in IBM Supercomputer Deal

January 5, 2015 Under a new $44.5 million deal with IBM, the National Weather Service will get forecast-boosting supercomputers that will increase processing capacity by almost tenfold. But Big Blue, which spun off its x86 supercomputing business to China-based Lenovo last year, will not be providing the machinery. Instead, subcontractor Cray will actually ...

Medical File Hack Affected Nearly Half a Million Postal Workers

January 2, 2015 Network intruders compromised health information on current and former U.S. Postal Service employees who filed for workers’ compensation, USPS officials say. The files were accessed during a previously reported September cyber intrusion that netted the Social Security numbers of about 800,000 USPS employees. Details of the health data breach are ...

The Cyber Threat in 2015: 10 Twists on Hackers’ Old Tricks

December 31, 2014 Hacking trends are not like fashion fads. They don't go in and out each year. They withstand defenses by advancing, in terms of stealth and scope. So there will be no 2015 "What’s Hot and What’s Not" list of cyber threats confronting federal agencies. Instead, here is a list of ...

Hackers Breach S. Korea Nuke Plants, Look Up JMU Employees, and Con Inmates

December 29, 2014 In case you missed our coverage this week in ThreatWatch, Nextgov’s regularly updated index of cyber breaches: Database Glitch Might Have Exposed Data on 7,000 Vets A Department of Veterans Affairs vendor discovered a potential security flaw in one of its patient systems that helps provide home telehealth services. Prison ...

Watchdog Says Secret Service Misses the Bar on Cybersecurity

December 24, 2014 The Secret Service, no stranger to security lapses, is being dinged by an internal auditor for not requiring two-step verification to access agency networks and for ignoring governmentwide rules for continuously monitoring network security. For the past year, the Department of Homeland Security subdivision has refused to digitally report data ...

The CIA Has a Problem With Biometric Surveillance

December 23, 2014 Some tactics that CIA operatives use to avoid blowing their cover at airports could be foiled by one of the spy agency’s best surveillance tools: biometric identification. The growing use of digital fingerprint matching at European airports troubles Langley, according to January 2012 CIA guidelines for using fake IDs that ...

The CIA Has a Problem with Biometric Surveillance

December 22, 2014 Some tactics CIA operatives use to avoid blowing their cover at airports could be foiled by one of the spy agency’s best surveillance tools: biometric identification. The growing use of digital fingerprint matching at European airports troubles Langley, according to January 2012 CIA guidelines for using fake IDs that Wikileaks ...

Hackers Wreck Iron Plant Machinery, Spear ICANN Systems and Channel M.C. Hammer

December 22, 2014 In case you missed our coverage this week in ThreatWatch, Nextgov’s regularly updated index of cyber breaches: Cyberattack Physically Damages Iron Plant in Germany A German government agency says a computer intrusion destroyed parts of control systems at a steelworks facility. UC Berkeley Waits Three Months to Inform Hack Victims ...