Heartbleed bug prompts Canada Revenue Agency to shut down online tax filing

Web browser vulnerability raises Internet security, privacy alarm for CRA, Yahoo and other sites

The logo for the Heartbleed bug

The Canada Revenue Agency has temporarily shut down public access to its online services in response to a possible Internet security breach, throwing a wrench into the plans of many Canadians to file their income taxes online and raising privacy concerns for others.

The so-called ‘Heartbleed’ bug is thought to have potentially given hackers access to millions of passwords, credit card numbers and other information at several major websites, including the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), Yahoo, Tumblr and Flickr.

The CRA said it has cut off online access to its EFILE, NETFILE, My Account, My Business Account and Represent a Client services.

“The CRA recognizes that this problem may represent a significant inconvenience for individual Canadians, representatives and businesses that count on the CRA for online information and services,” the agency said in a statement.

“Please be assured that we are fully engaged in resolving this matter and restoring online services as soon as possible in a manner that ensures the private information of Canadians remains safe and secure.”

The CRA called its action a “preventative measure” to safeguard the integrity of its data and said its first priority is ensuring confidentiality of taxpayer information.

The Heartbleed vulnerability, which went undetected for two years, affects web browsing using supposedly secure, encrypted connections where the browser displays a closed padlock.

The CRA is also promising “consideration” to taxpayers who can’t meet their requirement to file their income taxes by the end of the month.

The agency said it will provide updates at noon daily (3 p.m. EST) on its home page until the situation is resolved.

Just Posted

Two nature-inspired artists display oil paintings at Qualicum gallery

Judy Maxwell and Lloyd Major depict scenes of wildlife, landscapes and the west coast

Parksville seniors getting stronger with age

Weightlifting couple qualify to compete at Worlds Masters in Montreal in August

Camera captures cougar lurking in Parksville’s Foster Park neighbourhood

Resident shared photo to alert others to big cat’s presence

VIDEO: RCMP ask kids to help name soon-to-be police dogs

13 German shepherd puppies will be born this year

Vernon ordered to reinstate terminated firefighters caught having sex at work

City believes arbitration board erred, exploring options

Dozens of B.C. temperature records smashed as spring brings early warmth

Squamish Airport was the hottest spot in all of Canada on Monday

Hackers seek holes in B.C. Hydro power grid, auditor says

System meets standards, but local outages still a concern

Nanaimo RCMP stop cyclist with no helmet, find out he’s wanted for murder

Kyle Antonio Dias, 19, to face second-degree murder charge in Toronto

British Columbia Teachers’ Federation welcomes new leader

Teri Mooring will take over as president this summer

Disappearance of Merritt cowboy now deemed suspicious: police

Ben Tyner was reported missing when his riderless horse was discovered on a logging road

Distillers hope federal budget scraps alcohol escalator tax

Tax hike set for April 1, marking third automatic increase in three years time

Kids found playing darts with syringes in Vancouver Island park

Saanich police is urging people to throw out their syringes properly and safely

Most Read