Sen. Ron Wyden: DHS Needs to Adopt DMARC Tech to Address Impersonation of Federal Agencies Via Emails

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) has called on the Department of Homeland Security to address cyber hackers’ attempts to transmit email messages that impersonate federal agencies through adoption of the Domain-based Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance technology.

Wyden told Jeanette Manfra, acting undersecretary for cybersecurity at DHS, in a letter released Tuesday that technology platforms such as DMARC would make it difficult for foreign governments and cyber criminals to impersonate agencies.

DMARC is a technical standard that works to help agency administrators submit requests seeking to reject or quarantine fraudulent emails in a spam folder, Wyden noted.

He called on DHS to include DMARC scanning as part of the Cyber Hygiene initiative and collaborate with the General Services Administration to develop a central platform designed to automatically collect DMARC reports from government agencies.

DHS should also release an operational directive that would require agencies within the executive branch to facilitate adoption of the DMARC technology with a quarantine or reject policy, he noted.

“Further mandate that agencies configure their DMARC reports to be sent to the central reporting system operated by DHS, so that DHS has visibility into any efforts by criminals and foreign governments to impersonate U.S. government agencies,” Wyden added.

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