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Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Image

Very few (only 4%) of state elections offices across the 50 states, Washington D.C. and the three U.S. territories use adequate protection to keep hackers from sending email from those offices' official email addresses, according to a new study by the security company Anomali.

Why it matters: Nothing in the basic email protocol guarantees that a sender's address is authentic. To do that, web sites need to add a handful of additional security protocols. That could lead to voter suppression if a dirty tricks-wielding campaign sends emails from the official account saying that polling places have moved, election days changed, or groups of people are no longer registered to vote.

The Anomali study looked at 6 different security protocols: DANE, DKIM, DMARC, DNSSEC, SPF and STARTTLS.

  • DKIM, DMARC and SPF all have different functions to protect recipients from fake or “spoofed” email addresses.
  • DNSSEC, DANE and STARTTLS work together to ensure the message reaches the right recipient without being altered along the way.

The details: If a website fails to have SPF and DMARC in place and configured to prevent it, a bad guy can fake (or "spoof") an email from the site.

  • Properly set up, SPF identifies if a server has permission to send an email from a domain and DMARC tells an email client to either reject emails that fail SPF or mark them as spam.
  • Only 4% of elections sites had both set up in a way to prevent spoofing.
  • DKIM ensures specific emails were in fact sent by the senders listed. Only 10 percent of states use DKIM.
  • None of the security protocols had even 50% adoption accross the states.

Go deeper

Fed revamps rules for officials, restricts trades after controversies

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

The Federal Reserve on Thursday announced significant changes to its rules regulating officials' financial activities following controversy last month over some officials' past trading practices.

Why it matters: The rule revamp is a coda on the biggest scandal to hit the Fed in recent memory.

Texas urges Supreme Court to leave abortion ban in place

Photo: Emily Elconin/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Texas on Thursday asked the Supreme Court to keep in place a law that bans abortions after an embryo's cardiac activity is detected, which can be as soon as six weeks and before many people know they are pregnant.

Driving the news: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is asking the high court to ignore the Justice Department's emergency request that they temporarily block the law while federal courts consider its constitutionality since it "lacks standing because it has not been injured by SB 8."

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

Meme stonks lose their appeal to the world of crypto

Data: Cardify; Chart: Axios Visuals

That sucking sound you hear is the outflow of meme-chasing dollars from the stock market.

Why it matters: The caravan has moved on. The dream of getting rich quick still lives, but today it's more often found in the world of crypto, NFTs or even sports betting than it is in the stock market.