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Photo: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Only one of the top 50 federal IT contractors has fully implemented an email protocol designed to prevent fraud, the Global Cyber Alliance advocacy group reports.

Why it matters: Without a contractor using the DMARC protocol, recipients of emails claiming to be from that contractor will not automatically double check whether those emails are authentic. That means incoming emails could impersonate the contractor and fraudulently ask a victim to transfer money for unpaid bills or log in to a phishing website.

The details: DMARC allows recipients of an email to double check with the purported sender that it actually sent the email. If an email is faked, that purported sender can instruct the recipient to reject the email, send it to the spam folder or do nothing at all.

  • Only one firm has the reject setting turned on, according to the GCA audit.
  • One firm requests fake emails be treated as spam.
  • 26 have DMARC, but don't instruct the recipient to do anything if emails are fraudulent.
  • 21 do not have DMARC installed.
  • One has DMARC improperly configured, and makes no request.

The rules: The Department of Homeland Security required agencies to begin installing DMARC last year, but the order did not extend to contractors.

Go deeper

7 mins ago - Podcasts

Former FDA chief Rob Califf on the vaccine approval process

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reviewing two emergency use authorization requests for COVID-19 vaccines, with an outside advisory committee scheduled to meet next Thursday to review data from Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech.

Axios Re:Cap digs in with former FDA commissioner Rob Calif about the EUA process, the science and who should make the final call.

12 mins ago - Politics & Policy

The recovery needs rocket fuel

Data: BLS. Chart: Axios Visuals

Friday's deeply disappointing jobs report should light a fire under Congress, which has dithered despite signs the economy is struggling to kick back into gear.

Driving the news: President-elect Biden said Friday afternoon in Wilmington that he supports another round of $1,200 checks.

1 hour ago - Health

CDC: It's time for "universal face mask use"

Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty

The CDC is urging “universal face mask use” for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began, citing recent case spikes as the U.S. has entered a phase of “high-level transmission” before winter officially begins.

Why it matters: Daily COVID-related deaths across the U.S. hit a new record on Wednesday. Face coverings have been shown to increase protection of the wearer and those around them, despite some Americans' reluctance to use them.

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