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Threat of hacking prompts tax agency to take some online services down

OTTAWA — Canadians who planned to file their taxes online over the weekend faced difficulties as the threat of hacking prompted the Canada Revenue Agency to take down the service.


March 13, 2017
By The Canadian Press

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A notice was posted on the agency’s website Friday that said it detected “an internet vulnerability” and took down many of its services, including electronic tax filing.

In an update posted on the CRA website, the agency said that as of 5 p.m. Sunday, individuals and businesses have been able to file electronically, make payments and access all other digital services. 

The services included ones such as “My Account,” “My Business Account,” “Netfile,” “EFILE” and “Auto-Fill My Return.”

A spokesman for the Canada Revenue Agency says the tax filing services were taken offline Friday as a precaution to project Canadians’ tax information.

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Patrick Samson says the CRA isn’t aware of any personal information being affected, but says the agency will monitor the situation.

“Digital services were taken offline as a precaution, not as the result of a successful hack or breach,” Samson says in an email.

The CRA website itself remained online as Samson says it was determined it wasn’t a risk.

The CRA was not the only government website offline over the weekend.

Statistics Canada remained down Sunday. On Friday the agency tweeted it was due to “circumstances beyond our control.”

The agency and the federal government did not immediately respond to emails Sunday for details on the cause of the shutdown.

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc. 2017