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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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FBI’s Most Wanted Hackers: A Bingo Buff, Chinese Military Members and a PI for the Brokenhearted

October 14, 2014 Five Chinese nationals, a bingo player and the mastermind of a spyware service for abandoned lovers were some of the fugitives spotlighted on the FBI’s Cyber's Most Wanted list, in recognition of October's Cybersecurity Awareness Month. The FBI has put a collective $445,000 bounty on the heads of some of ...

DHS: Attackers Hacked Critical Manufacturing Firm For Months

October 10, 2014 An unnamed manufacturing firm vital to the U.S. economy recently suffered a prolonged hack, the Department of Homeland Security has disclosed. The event was complicated by the fact that the company had undergone corporate acquisitions, which introduced more network connections, and consequently a wider attack surface. The firm had more ...

Hackers Cause Schizophrenia, Eavesdrop on Yahoo in China, and Hijack Unemployed People

October 10, 2014 In case you missed our coverage this week in ThreatWatch, Nextgov’s regularly updated index of cyber breaches: Craiglist Posts Poisonous Employment Ads Bad guys are driving job seekers on Craigslist to a malicious online form that can hijack their computers. Patient Records Erroneously Diagnose Woman with Schizophrenia after ID Breach ...

CDC Tracks Cell Phone Location Data to Halt Ebola

October 9, 2014 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking the approximate locations of cell phone users in West Africa who dial emergency call centers in an effort to predict the onset and spread of Ebola outbreaks. “The data is just the number of calls by cell tower, but from that ...

Should We Put Robots in Charge of Cybersecurity?

October 7, 2014 The theme of October’s National Cybersecurity Awareness month, for half a decade has been "cybersecurity is a shared responsibility” -- but should it be? We're more aware than ever of the risks to logging online, with big-box store hacks, intelligence leaks and bank infiltrations regularly chronicled in the media. And ...

Do We Really Need More Cyber Awareness or Should We Put the Robots in Charge?

October 7, 2014 The theme of October’s National Cybersecurity Awareness month for half a decade has been "cybersecurity is a shared responsibility” -- but should it be? We're more aware than ever of the risks to logging online, with big-box store hacks, intelligence leaks and bank infiltrations regularly chronicled in the media. And ...

Yes, Sunbathers, That's a Government-Commissioned Drone Above You

October 7, 2014 The Coast Guard wants to acquire small drones for spotting missing boaters and other distressed oceangoers. Hopefully, not cruise passengers catching some rays. The small unmanned aircraft systems, or SUAS, would weigh at most 35 pounds, Coast Guard officials say. A new solicitation for demonstrations does not specify the length ...

Should Feds Be Afraid of a Popular Chinese Chat App?

October 6, 2014 Even as trendy voice and text-messaging app WeChat, owned by China-based firm Tencent, has gained in popularity, the app is dogged by allegations it serves as an instrument of industrial espionage, according to U.S. technical experts. A large number of Chinese Americans in California, including U.S. government contractors, use the ...

Hackers Out Sex Offenders, Infect New Country and Breach Security Firm’s Database

October 3, 2014 In case you missed our coverage this week in ThreatWatch, Nextgov’s regularly updated index of cyber breaches: WordPress Security Provider Leaks Client Passwords iThemes, a content management system security plugin and training provider, has taken responsibility for being complicit in exposing its customers’ information. ATM Infection Has Now Spread to ...

DHS No Longer Needs Permission Slips to Monitor Other Agencies' Networks for Vulnerabilities

October 3, 2014 This story has been updated to clarify the Einstein program's role in detecting cyber intrusions. The Department of Homeland Security has spelled out its intentions to proactively monitor civilian agency networks for signs of threats, after agencies arguably dropped the ball this spring in detecting federal websites potentially harboring the ...