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

Woodwynn Farms to be shut down and sold

The rehabilitation program at Woodwynn Farms is being shut down. According to… Continue reading

False missile alert for Central Saanich councillor

While on vacation in Hawaii, Central Saanich Councillor Alicia Holman was awoken… Continue reading

Victoria airport nearing billion-dollar mark in economic impact

Airport has nearly doubled its passengers and its impact on the economy since 2005

More buoys allowed for Brentwood Bay

Proposed number rises from 40 to 60

Victoria airport reaches nearly two million passengers in 2017

This year expected to see additional growth

Sidney’s Salish Sea aquarium to close for maintenance

First extended closure for the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea since it opened in 2009

Butchart Gardens is hiring now and paying more

Wages start at $15, job fair Feb. 20

Cash still needed for Stelly’s Cross Path

MLA Olsen wants more specifics first

Injured parachutist wants stolen backpack back

Bag contained important video files of 2017 parachuting incident

RCMP nail sex toy thief

Shop owner plays a role in arrest

Ice-cream-eating bear draws controversy

An Alberta Wildlife Park posted a video this week of one of their bears going through a Dairy Queen drive-through

LETTER: The sewage spiral continues in Greater Victoria

My left brain has been trying to digest the news and comments… Continue reading

Fernie, RCMP go to court over city log books in fatal ammonia leak probe

Log books center stage in clashing of investigations between the city and RCMP

Renowned Comox Valley sasquatch researcher passes away

A renowned biologist and leading Canadian sasquatch researcher who called the Comox… Continue reading

Most Read