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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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Virtual Reality Comes to US Military's Mapping Agency

June 22, 2016 One day, a Foreign Service officer in Somalia might be able to use his smartphone camera to help swiftly reconstruct war devastation for eyes wrapped in Oculus 3-D headgear back in Washington. Virtual reality is not all fun and games. It’s one tool America's spy mapping agency uses to offer...

Foreign Government Hackers Are the Gravest and Most Common Threat, Agencies Say

June 21, 2016 The gravest attacks -- and most common -- perpetrated against agency networks involved nation states, according to an audit that happened to be released amid accusations the Russian government allegedly hacked the Democratic National Committee. The Government Accountability Office assessment comes one year after the Office of Personnel Management disclosed...

The Pentagon Is About to Launch A Big Database for Screening National Security Workers

June 21, 2016 The Pentagon next month is slated to launch one mega database for investigating the trustworthiness of personnel who could have access to federal facilities and computer systems. The Defense Information System for Security, or DISS, will consolidate two existing tools used for vetting employees and job applicants. The reboot represents...

Inside the Spy Mapping Agency's Virtual Reality Lab

June 21, 2016 One day, a Foreign Service officer in Somalia might be able to use his smartphone camera to help swiftly reconstruct war devastation for eyes wrapped in Oculus 3-D headgear back in Washington. Virtual reality is not all fun and games. It’s one tool America's spy mapping agency uses to offer...

Pentagon Prepares to Launch Mega Database for Screening National Security Workers

June 20, 2016 The Pentagon next month is slated to launch one mega database for investigating the trustworthiness of personnel who could have access to federal facilities and computer systems. The Defense Information System for Security, or DISS, will consolidate two existing tools used for vetting employees and job applicants. The reboot represents...

Hackers Shower Pro-ISIS Twitter Accounts With Rainbows, Steal US Jet Fighter Designs; Courthouse Mistakenly Leaks Defendants’ Data

June 20, 2016 In case you missed our coverage this week in ThreatWatch, Nextgov’s regularly updated index of cyber breaches: Hackers Shower ISIS Twitter Accounts with Rainbows after Orlando Massacre Dozens of accounts that once promoted hatred now are showcasing gay-pride flags and even links to softcore gay pornography following the June 12...

DHS Hacker Warnings Will Soon Carry Reputation Scores

June 17, 2016 The Homeland Security Department will soon rate the trustworthiness of tip-offs about hacking groups it receives from outside sources before sharing them with other agencies and industry. A cybersecurity information-sharing law passed six months ago requires DHS to disseminate threat "indicators" -- hallmarks of a particular attack, like a certain...

Now You Can Tell Trump or Clinton How to Handle Hackers

June 15, 2016 Now is your chance to weigh in on what the next U.S. president should do to keep hackers out of your information and the more than $260 billion digital economy. The newly formed Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity expects by early July to issue a request for information on what...

Where’s the Report on the Security of Unclassified IT Systems?

June 13, 2016 The White House and the intelligence community faced a deadline last week to inventory unclassified IT systems from which attackers could glean classified material. Last December's $1.8 trillion federal spending bill ordered the Obama administration to provide its findings to Congress within 180 days. On Monday, the Office of the...

Hackers Breach FTC CTO's Phone Account, Announce Goodell’s Death Prematurely; WA Accidentally Doxxes Weed License Applicants

June 13, 2016 In case you missed our coverage this week in ThreatWatch, Nextgov’s regularly updated index of cyber breaches: Personal Info on Marijuana License Applicants Doxxed by Wash. State The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board accidentally distributed sensitive data on applicants in response to a public records request. LCB had redacted...