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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 Navy Is Trying To Hack-Proof Its Drones

May 20, 2015 The Navy says it's not sure what kind of cyber threats its drones, sensors and missiles are up against. That's because aerial weapons systems were not expected to become part of the so-called Internet of Things, the present-day entanglement of networked appliances, transportation systems and other data-infused objects. So, the...

The Army Is Shopping for Cyber Weapons

May 19, 2015 The Army is seeking the assistance of cyberattack tool sellers, joining a growing number of Pentagon entities aiming to amass advanced cyber capabilities. A new market survey aimed at identifying suppliers is the third Defense Department document issued over the past month that points out a need to be able...

Navy Needs Help Making Sure Its Drones are Hack-Proof

May 19, 2015 The Navy says it's not sure what kind of cyber threats its drones, sensors and missiles are up against. That's because aerial weapons systems were not expected to become part of the so-called Internet of Things, the present-day entanglement of networked appliances, transportation systems and other data-infused objects. So, the...

The Army Is In Talks with ‘Cyber Effects’ Vendors

May 17, 2015 The Army is seeking the assistance of cyberattack tool sellers, joining a growing number of Pentagon entities aiming to amass advanced cyber capabilities. A new market survey aimed at identifying suppliers is the third Defense Department document issued over the past month that points out a need to be able...

Hackers Raid Passport Agency and Milk Starbucks Customers

May 15, 2015 In case you missed our coverage this week in ThreatWatch, Nextgov’s regularly updated index of cyber breaches: State Department Contractor Accused of Stealing Passport Applicants’ Data The employee, Chloe McClendon, and two other women allegedly created fake documents with the cribbed data and used those identities to borrow money for...

Cyber Pay Equals Out at $112,000 in Government and Industry, Survey Says

May 14, 2015 Higher pay typically is not the deal breaker when information security professionals pass over military jobs for private sector positions, with the going rate now reaching $112,000 across all sectors, according to what is likely the largest-ever study of cyber professionals. The sometimes year-long process to obtain that first paycheck...

Could Google IDs Help Emergency Crews Reach Disaster Areas Faster?

May 13, 2015 As early as next year, emergency crews responding to disasters such as Tuesday's Amtrak derailment could be able to access an incident command system using only their personal Gmail passwords. Universal credentials are the future of online security, according to the Department of Homeland Security. During a recent trial, roughly...

NSA Critic Named No. 2 White House Tech Official

May 11, 2015 A highly regarded information security researcher and outspoken critic of National Security Agency activities has been named a White House deputy chief technology officer, the Obama administration announced Monday. At first blush, Ed Felten might seem a surprising choice. Just two months ago, the current Princeton University computer science professor...

Federal Employee Retirement Plan Struggles with Cyber Conflict of Interest

May 11, 2015 The board of a hacked federal employee retirement plan is struggling to comply with government cybersecurity rules, because of concerns the requirements infringe on the organization's independence, the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board says. The admission comes as the agency faces a grilling from senators over a Labor Department review...

Third-Party Software Was Entry Point for Background-Check System Hack

May 10, 2015 Hackers broke into third-party software in 2013 to open personal records on federal employees and contractors with access to classified intelligence, according to the government's largest private employee investigation provider. That software apparently was an SAP enterprise resource planning application. It’s unclear if there was a fix available for the...