The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) headquarters Connaught Building is pictured in Ottawa on Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

CRA resumes online services with new security features after cyberattacks

All individuals affected by the cybersecurity breaches will receive a letter from the CRA

The Canada Revenue Agency has resumed all online services after fraudsters used thousands of pilfered usernames and passwords to obtain government services.

The agency disabled the services Saturday after discovering more than 5,000 accounts had been the target of three cyberattacks.

Online access to “My Business Account” resumed Monday and all others were brought back online Wednesday evening.

The agency says it regrets the impacts on Canadians and has modified all its security systems to protect against future cyberattacks.

All individuals affected by the cybersecurity breaches will receive a letter from the CRA explaining how to confirm their identity in order to protect and restore access to their account.

The agency urges everyone using its online services to update their accounts with unique passwords they don’t use for any other purpose.

It also recommends all CRA “My Account” users enable email notifications as an additional measure of security.

They can also opt to use a new security feature that will allow them to set up a unique personal identification number to open an account.

About 5,600 CRA accounts were targeted in what the CRA has described as “credential stuffing” schemes, in which hackers used passwords and usernames from other websites to access Canadians’ CRA accounts.

The first of three attacks last week took aim at the GCKey service, which is used by about 30 federal departments and allows Canadians to access services like the My Service Canada account.

By using the previously stolen usernames and passwords, the perpetrators were able to fraudulently acquire about 9,000 of the some 12 million GCKey accounts.

Separately, CRA’s system was hit by credential stuffing attacks. The perpetrators were able to use previously hacked credentials to access the CRA portal. They were also able to exploit a vulnerability that allowed them to bypass the CRA security questions and get into thousands more accounts.

In addition, the CRA portal was directly targeted with a large amount of traffic trying to attack the services through credential stuffing.

The Canadian Press

Canadacybersecurity

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

160 new COVID-19 cases reported in Alberta on Tuesday

Province now has 1,571 active cases

Teams from across Central Alberta come to Rimbey’s Kevin Hopper Memorial Rodeo

The Rodeo was held at Rimbey’s Agrim Centre on Sept. 12

Return to class has gone better than expectation, WCPS says

Staff with Wolf Creek Public Schools say the return to in-class teaching has gone very well

Central zone down to 16 active COVID-19 cases

Alberta Health Services’ central zone is down to 16

No safe mask option for bearded members, RCMP says, but force is exploring solutions

RCMP says respirator not mandatory in all front-line situations, but sometimes needed to reduce risk

U.S. Presidential Debate Takeaways: An acrid tone from the opening minute

Here are key takeaways from the first of three scheduled presidential debates before Election Day on Nov. 3

National child-care plan could help Canada rebound from COVID-induced economic crisis: prof

A $2 billion investment this year could help parents during second wave of pandemic

CP Holiday Train cancelled this year; virtual concert to be held in lieu of event

Canadian Pacific will still donate to local food banks in its network and host a virtual concert.

Survey finds doctors worry supplies of flu vaccine, PPE will lag demand

Canadian health officials have said additional flu vaccines have been ordered to meet expected demand

Ahead of likely second wave, 60% of Canadians relaxing COVID-19 measures

Proportion of Canadians following safety measures has dropped by 3 per cent in the past two weeks

Canada’s population tops 38 million, even as COVID-19 pandemic slows growth

Immigration, the top population driver, decreased due to the pandemic

Lightning strike: Tampa Bay blanks Dallas 2-0 to win Stanley Cup

Hedman wins Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP

Liberals seek to fast track new COVID-19 aid bill after CERB expires

Government secured NDP support for legislation by hiking amount of benefits by $100 to $500 per week

Most Read