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

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

Caleb Wykes, Jade Daniel and Alicia Dennis celebrate Australia Day at the Fernie Hotel and Pub. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)
Fernie Hotel celebrates the land down under

Sausages sizzled and Vegemite was spread as The Fernie Hotel celebrated Australia Day on Jan. 26.

Teck today announced the development of a new centralized office building in Sparwood, B.C. File photo
What’s in a brand? Sparwood logo turns 10

The five-point star and branding has adorned the district’s properties since 2011

A Half-moon hairstreak butterfly. (Image courtesy of Calgary Zoo)
Parks Canada, Calgary Zoo work to conserve butterflies in Waterton Lakes

Parks Canada will contribute $289,000 over three years for the project

Freshies barista, Craig Stoner at the new cafe location. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Freshies settles into new space

The new locatiom on 2nd Ave gives the popular cafe more space

Castlegar Sculpturewalk 2020 – 10 Year Anniversary Sand Sculpture. (Submitted/CBT)
CBT arts and culture grant program now accepting applications

Apply through the Kootenay Columbia Cultural Alliance

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber are wanted on Canada-wide warrants. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Convicted killer, robber at large after failing to return to facility: Victoria police

Dean Reber, 60, and Jonathon Muzychka, 43, may be together

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Adam Dergazarian, bottom center, pays his respect for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in front of a mural painted by artist Louie Sloe Palsino, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Kobe Bryant’s presence remains strong a year after his death

Tuesday marks the grim anniversary of the crash that took their lives

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Surrey RCMP are investigating after a pedestrian was struck and killed at 183 Street and Highway 10 Friday night. (File photo)
The Brucejack mine is 65 km north of Stewart in northwestern B.C. (Pretivm Photo)
B.C. mine executives see bright gleam in post-COVID future

Low carbon drives demand for copper, steelmaking coal

In this Dec. 18, 2020 photo, pipes to be used for the Keystone XL pipeline are stored in a field near Dorchester, Neb.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Chris Machian /Omaha World-Herald via AP
Canadians divided over Keystone pipeline, despite U.S. president’s permit pullback

Two-thirds of Canadians think Biden’s decision was a “bad thing” for Alberta

A woman wearing a protective face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
5 big lessons experts say Canada should learn from COVID-19

‘What should be done to reduce the harms the next time a virus arises?’ Disease control experts answer

Most Read