OTTAWA – Federal officials say a hack into Statistics Canada’s main website prompted the government to shut down a number of services over the weekend, including electronic tax filing at the Canada Revenue Agency.
John Glowacki with Shared Services Canada says IT security officials were made aware of a bug in a computer program widely used by the federal government late Wednesday.
But it wasn’t until Thursday, after a breach was discovered at Statistics Canada, that the plug was pulled on the agency’s web servers.
Glowacki says that action launched a cascade of events that resulted in online services at the Canada Revenue Agency being shut down as well.
The tax agency took several of its web-based services offline as a precaution Friday after a problem was detected in computer servers used by websites worldwide.
By late Sunday, CRA reported it had fixed its system, tested for the vulnerability and had brought the services back online.
Officials maintain that no personal data had been compromised before CRA took what they described as a preventative measure.
And they insisted during a media briefing Monday that all affected departments “acted very quickly” to deal with the issue.
The CRA services affected by the shutdown included “My Account,” “My Business Account,” “Netfile,” “EFILE” and “Auto-Fill My Return.”
Statistics Canada’s main website was also back up and running by late Sunday.