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HMRC Geared up to Block 500 Million Malware Attacks

HM Revenue & Customs is geared up to block the half a billion phishing emails sent per year, designed to steal personal information or deliver malware, from ever reaching UK taxpayers.

HMRC is the first government department to implement the domain-based authentication, reporting and conformance (Dmrac) protocol.

Implementation of Dmrac is mandatory for public sector bodies as part of the active cyber defence programme (ACD) led by the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre.

The ACD aims to tackle a significant proportion of the cyber attacks that hit the UK.

It aims to fix the underlying infrastructure protocols by improving email security, hunting down and blocking malicious activity, helping government and critical national infrastructure to improve security practices and encouraging innovative ways to authenticate online.

Edward Tucker, Head of HMRC cyber security, said: “With Dmarc, we can now stop almost all of the [500 million phishing emails a year seen in 2014 and 2015] from ever reaching our customers’ inboxes,.”

In a blog post, he added: “To be able to have such a dramatic effect in reducing the threat to our customers is a huge achievement”

Tucker said HMRC’s security team had been working to tackle the issue by “gradually implementing security controls across all of our email domains”.

He added: “We have already managed to reduce phishing emails by 300 million in 2016 through spearheading the use of Dmarc”

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